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Is Blood Thicker than Water? Europe Must Work Together to Solve its Impending Water Crisis

By: Vann Buchanan



The European continent is undergoing unprecedented drought. This drought has had ramifications already: reservoirs and rivers running dry, interruptions in electrical generation, and disruptions of river shipments. These ramifications will only get worse if the European

Union does not act. The European Union lacks a centralized water law for quantitative water regulation. To weather the coming drought, the European Union must change its course. The European Union must have a unified water rights regime. This Note argues that the strongest

solution, in the face of Europe’s unique history, is a composite regime of prior appropriations and riparianism. This regime would apply a baseline water law of riparianism, with prior appropriations applying to all future water users. This regime would allow Europe to gain both the benefits of the two regimes while mitigating the negatives. The possibility of a unified European regime of quantitative water law is largely unaddressed in the literature, and a unified regime is of paramount importance in the face of Europe’s severe drought. This Note attacks the problem of the European drought by comparing existing water rights regimes, considering these regimes in the context of Europe’s unique situation.

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