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Articles on Water rights

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Sign at a boat ramp on Lake Mead, near Boulder City, Nevada, Aug. 13, 2021. The lake currently is roughly two-thirds empty. AP Photo/John Locher

As climate change parches the Southwest, here’s a better way to share water from the shrinking Colorado River

A Western scholar proposes allocating water from the Colorado River based on percentages of its actual flow instead of fixed amounts that exceed what’s there – and including tribes this time.
Aboriginal people from Daly River gather water lily stems, flowers and seeds in a billabong. They also feel for long-neck turtles with their feet. David Hancock Copyright: SkyScans

Regressive changes to Northern Territory water laws could undermine Indigenous rights

History is being repeated with the Northern Territory government finding ways to stop Aboriginal people from gaining access to water to use or trade.
Aerial view of Lake Powell on the Colorado River along the Arizona-Utah border. AP Photo/John Antczak

Interstate water wars are heating up along with the climate

The Supreme Court recently dealt defeat to Florida in its 20-year legal battle with Georgia over river water. Other interstate water contests loom, but there are no sure winners in these lawsuits.
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Water injustice runs deep in Australia. Fixing it means handing control to First Nations

First Nations people have almost no say in how water is used in Australia. The Productivity Commission’s latest report does little to address that.
One of this year’s most refreshing developments was the youth-led action on climate change. AAP Image/Dan Peled

5 human rights issues that defined 2019

From mass climate change movements to cultural genocide of Uighurs in China, here are some of the headline human rights moments that captured Australia’s attention.
Environmental water is not a luxury – it’s vital for river ecosystems and everyone who depends on them. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Giving environmental water to drought-stricken farmers sounds straightforward, but it’s a bad idea

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested changing the rules to allow ‘environmental’ water to be diverted to drought-hit farms. But the idea would be far less straightforward in practice.
The Ord River was targeted for agricultural expansion in the 20th century. isthatdaves/Wikimedia Commons

Water in northern Australia: a history of Aboriginal exclusion

Ever since British settlement, water rights in Australia’s north have favoured landowners over traditional owners, effectively locking Aboriginal people out of agricultural development.

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