By juxtaposing five western states’ existing assured supply laws, this Article provides a preliminary assessment of whether, and how, assured supply laws can best promote sustainability—and, by extension, make at least one area of environmental law more like sustainability law. The Article reaches three principal conclusions. First, it finds that, as they appear to, assured supply laws in fact promote sustainability. Second, the extent to which assured supply laws likely promote sustainability greatly varies by state, because these laws’ policy designs also depend on the state of enactment. Finally, additional work is needed to provide a more concrete assessment of how effective assured supply laws are, both in general and in the context of sustainability. The Article proceeds in three parts. Part I briefly introduces assured supply laws, including how they function, rationales offered for their adoption, and their apparent benefits and costs. Part II places these laws in a sustainability context, attempting to reformulate how we think of assured supply laws from a sustainability, rather than a traditional environmental, vantage. Part III concludes by contrasting five state regimes through the lens of a possible model for sustainability law. Part III shows that assured supply design very much matters for how well the laws promote sustainability.
Lincoln L. Davies,
Assured Water Supply Laws in the Sustainability Context, 4 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J.