Workshop organized by Dr Bettina Lange, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford, and Dr Mark Shepheard, McGill University
Environmental policymakers are increasingly responding to a growing awareness of the need for water conservation. Climate change, through more severe weather events, including both droughts and floods, is making water resource management ever more difficult. It is now imperative to plan for and adapt to periods of water scarcity, which are becoming significant, especially in the South-East of England.
Water scarcity also harbours the potential of increased conflicts about the distribution of water between different, competing users, such as those who use water for agricultural and industrial production, as well as water companies who abstract water for domestic consumption. Last but not least, the environment itself needs water for the preservation of natural habitats and wildlife.
This one-day workshop will examine whether and how farmers’ rights to access and use water in England are changing in the light of this transformed environmental policy context. Farmers have been subject to environmental stewardship obligations for a long time, in particular legal duties not to pollute water courses. But the expansion of these stewardship obligations to include water conservation presents a new challenge.
This workshop therefore addresses the following core question: through which socio-legal processes do water stewardship obligations become embedded in the interpretation of water rights?
Speakers will present a range of perspectives on water stewardship to confront the ongoing public policy debate about the effectiveness of different regulatory tools currently employed in England to promote water conservation, including codes of conduct, economic instruments, and contractual agreements such as environmental stewardship schemes.
In so doing, the workshop will engage far-reaching socio-legal debates about the nature of economic rights thinking, the ‘legal consciousness’ of water users, and the intersection of various types of rights and regulation.
, Head of Future Water Resource Management, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
, Senior Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy, City University London
Paul Hammett, National Farmers Union
Places at this workshop are limited. To reserve your place, please complete the registration form below.