The entitlement to water. Where does public law end and private law begin?
PhD student: Mrs M.D. Verhoef
Promotors: Mrs Prof P.J. van der Plank, Mrs Prof H.F.M.W. van Rijswick
Duration: 1/12/2022 - 30/11/2026
It might be hard to imagine, but water scarcity is becoming an increasing problem in the Netherlands. Climate change is leading to drier and warmer springs and summers. Because of this, there is no guarantee that all stakeholders (such as drinking water supply companies, industry, farmers and nature) maintain access to freshwater throughout the whole year. To anticipate on periods of drought farmers experiment with different ways to locally store water in times of intense rainfall, to use it for agriculture during dry spells. These experiments lead to new legal questions. Can one be entitled to water? What are the consequences hereof in terms of water governance and the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of private persons, collectives and the existing water management institutions in the Netherlands? Is it possible to acquire ownership of groundwater and surface water after it is stored in (for example) a large private basin? This research aims to answer these kind of questions, with the overarching question:
where does public law with regard to water end and private law begin? The research is conducted under the supervision of prof mr. dr. Pernille van der Plank en prof. mr. dr. Marleen van Rijswick and is part of the NWO-project Upscaling Private and Collective Water Storage for Robust Agricultural Systems (UPWaS).
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