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Tulane's Mark Davis spearheads water code drafting

October 21, 2015


Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy Director Mark Davis, chatting with attendees at the 2015 Summit on Environmental Law & Policy, has been appointed reporter for the Louisiana State Law Institute’s new Water Code Committee.

Mark Davis, director of Tulane’s Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy, has been appointed reporter for the Louisiana State Law Institute’s new Water Code Committee, which has been charged by the Legislature with drafting a comprehensive document to streamline and better coordinate the state’s water law.

Davis, who also is a Tulane Law School senior research fellow, has extensive experience in helping shape water law and policy at the state and federal levels. Before joining the water institute, he spent 14 years as executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

The code committee resulted from SR 171, passed during the 2014 legislative session. The need for an overhaul was given impetus by a report from the Louisiana State Law Institute’s Water Law Committee, a 14-member panel of academics, lawyers, judges and environmental law specialists that found much of the state’s water law is unclear, inconsistent or insufficient to deal with complex problems that already confront the state or are likely to arise. (Davis also is a member of the water law committee.)

Davis said the code could take several years to draft because it will have to be carefully based on good science, current and anticipated water demand and a workable balance of public and private rights and duties. He said the new effort dovetails with work that the water institute already had undertaken researching what a water code would entail.

“Two things are certain about the future,” Davis said, “one is that water is going to be more important, and the second is that Louisiana won’t get by with water laws from the 19th — or 18th — century.”



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