Events & Media



"Public Funding Programs for Environmental Water Acquisitions:
Origins, purposes, and revenue sources"

Reed D. Benson
Henry Weihofen Professor
University of New Mexico School of Law

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Reed Benson has an extensive background in environmental water markets, water law, and water policy. As water markets gain traction in the Western U.S., Reed's work targets funding mechanisms that can be used to keep water in-stream."

–Leslie Sanchez, Sustainable Water Markets Program Manager, Faculty Host

Environmental water acquisitions can be an important tool for restoring and protecting water-dependent ecosystems. But in order to be successful, water acquisition programs need sufficient money to buy or lease water in environmentally meaningful quantities, suggesting the need for a public funding source. This presentation examines several different programs that provide some form of public funding for this purpose, focusing primarily on ones that do not rely on annual legislative appropriations to finance acquisitions. Rather than addressing the actual implementation of these programs, this presentation deals primarily with their origins, purposes, and revenue streams.

Reed D. Benson teaches courses relating to water law, natural resources, and administrative law. He is also chair of the law school’s Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program. He served from 2002 to 2008 on the University of Wyoming law faculty, the last two as Winston S. Howard Distinguished Professor. Benson has published nearly thirty articles on western water law and policy, focusing largely on environmental issues and federal water project operations. He is a co-author of the Water Resource Management casebook from Foundation Press. Before he began teaching, Benson worked in Oregon for the nonprofit conservation group WaterWatch, including five years as executive director. He has also worked as an attorney for a Boulder, Colorado, law firm, for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, and for the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies (now Western Resource Advocates). He earned his JD magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School and his BS with honors in economics and environmental studies from Iowa State.


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