Skip to main content
Law's Adaptive Capacity and Climate Change's Impacts on Water
Environmental and Energy Law and Policy Journal (2010)
  • Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold
This is an introductory essay to a symposium on Climate Change, Water, and Adaptive Law, held at the University of Houston Law Center in February 2010 and published in the Environmental and Energy Law and Policy Journal. It contends that changing climate conditions are creating pressures on water law, policy, and management institutions to adapt and questions whether these institutions have the capacity to adapt to climate change. It describes four major effects of climate change as they relate to water resources: 1) precipitation effects; 2) environmental and landscape structural effects; 3) behavioral response effects; and 4) institutional response effects. The essay then describes two articles addressing the dynamics of cross-jurisdictional scale: one by Robin Kundis Craig and one by Noah Hall; two articles addressing cross-sector interrelationships among water and energy: one by Dan Tarlock and one by Lea Rachel Kosnik; and three articles analyzing the adequacy and adaptability of existing trends in decentralized water planning and management: one by Kathleen Miller, one by Tony Arnold, and one by Elizabeth Burleson. The essay then comments on the themes of fragmentation and integration in the context of the systemic evolution and emergence of water law institutions.
  • climate change,
  • water institutions,
  • adaptive law,
  • energy,
  • legal evolution,
  • uncertainty,
  • panarchy
Publication Date
Citation Information
Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold. "Law's Adaptive Capacity and Climate Change's Impacts on Water" Environmental and Energy Law and Policy Journal Vol. 5 (2010)
Available at: