Skip to main content

The Business of Water

Current Offerings

The Business of Water (2508): Freshwater is our most crucial natural resource, but it is facing mounting pressures from climate change and other factors. While public agencies traditionally dominated water management, private water companies are playing an increasingly important (and sometime controversial) role. In many cases, private companies are making critical contributions to meeting societal water needs (e.g., by developing new technologies and finding new ways to reduce water use). In other cases, however, the involvement of private companies has proven controversial (e.g., when private companies have taken over public water supply systems in developing countries such as Bolivia). This course will look at established and emerging businesses in the water sector and the legal, economic, and social issues generated by the private sector's involvement. These businesses include water technology companies (e.g., companies commercializing new desalination or water recycling technologies), venture capitalists, water funds (that directly buy and sell water rights), consulting firms, innovative agricultural companies, and large corporations (that increasingly are adopting corporate stewardship programs). The course will begin with two weeks of introduction to water and the private water sector. After that, each class will focus on a different water company. Company executives will attend each class session and discuss their business with the class. In most classes, we will examine (1) the viability and efficacy of the company's business plan, (2) the legal and/or social issues arising from the business' work, and (3) how the business might contribute to improved water management and policy. Each student will be expected to write (1) two short reflection papers on businesses that visit the class, and (2) a 10- to15-page paper at the conclusion of the class on an idea that the student has for a new water company, on an existing water company of the student's choice, or on a legal or policy initiative that can improve the role that business plays in improving water management (either in a particular sector or more generally). This course is open to graduate students from around the campus. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 273B).

Sections

The Business of Water | LAW 2508 Section 01 Class #1166

  • 2 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
  • Course Category:
    • Business Law
    • Environmental & Natural Resources

Notes: Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 273B).

  • 2022-2023 Winter ( )
  • Mon
  • Room: LAW 280B

Past Offerings

The Business of Water (2508): The Business of Water (2508): One of the fastest growing global economic sectors is water, and private water companies are playing an increasingly important role around the world in water management. This growing private involvement has sometimes clashed with the inherently public nature of water and generated controversies. In many cases, private companies have made important contributions to meeting water needs (e.g., in the development of new technologies and expanding water supplies). In other cases, however, the involvement of private companies has proven contentious (e.g., when private companies have taken over public water supply systems in developing countries such as Bolivia). This course will look at established or emerging water businesses and the legal, economic, and social issues that they generate. These businesses include investor-owned water utilities, water technology companies (e.g., companies investing in new desalination or water recycling technologies), water-right funds (who directly buy and sell water rights), social impact funds, innovative agricultural operations, infrastructure companies, and financial investors. The class will begin with two introductory classes. After that, each week will focus on a different business or sector. Company executives will attend these class session and discuss their business with the class. In most classes, we will examine (1) the viability and efficacy of the company's business plan, (2) the legal and/or social issues arising from the business' work, and (3) how the business might contribute to improved water management and policy. Each student will be expected to write (1) two short reflection papers during the course of the quarter on businesses that present to the class, and (2) a 10- to15-page paper at the conclusion on the class on a water company of the student's choice (including a potential company that the student might propose creating), a water sector, or a policy initiative that can improve the role that business plays in improving water management (either in a particular sector or more generally). Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 273B).

Sections

The Business of Water | LAW 2508 Section 01 Class #1141

  • 2 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • 2021-2022 Winter
    Schedule No Longer Available
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO1 - Substantive and Procedural Law
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
  • Course Category:
    • Business Law
    • Environmental & Natural Resources

Notes: Cross-listed with Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE 273B).

  • 2021-2022 Winter
    Schedule No Longer Available
Back to the Top