In recent years, Dividing the Waters has developed several networks to support the work of judicial officers with water cases, starting with its network of judges.
Dividing the Waters started, in 1993, as simply a meeting of the judges and other judicial officers involved in the large western state water right adjudications, to discuss common challenges. With the support of the Ford Foundation and Hewlett Foundation, the Program developed into a recurring conference addressing particular challenges in water litigation, moving among the major watersheds in the West. (See the Invitation to Judges for a list of conferences.) Many of the participating judges came back every year, developing lasting professional relationships that allowed for dialogue throughout the year. Presiding over these water cases can often be a lonely task. These judges found that it was the network of judges addressing similar complex water issues that gave them the most value. The Program therefore evolved into what the Dividing the Waters judicial network is today — a way to gain access to critical information, training and expertise of other experienced water judges.
For many years, Dividing the Waters has invited leading water law professors to present their latest research at conferences. Some have participated in development of publications. In 2011, the Program started developing a network of these professors, to engage them more broadly in the Program’s work. This network meets quarterly, by conference call, to advise the Conveners as to the most critical, emerging water issues and help develop programs to help water judges gain the information they need. The members of the Law School Network include:
- Adell Amos, University of Oregon
- Amy Kelley, Gonzaga School of Law
- Barbara Cosens, University of Idaho
- Barton “Buzz” Thompson, Stanford University
- Brian Gray, UC Hastings
- Dan Tarlock, Chicago-Kent School of Law
- Mark Squillace, University of Colorado
- Reed Benson, University of New Mexico
- Reed Marbut, Willamette University
- Richard Frank, UC Davis
- Robert “Bo” Abrams, Florida A&M University
- Robert Anderson, University of Washington
- Robin Kundis Craig, University of Utah
- Sandra Zellmer, University of Nebraska
Board of Advisors
The Board of Advisors (Board) advises the Program on issues identified by the Conveners. The National Judicial College convenes this Board to support the work of Dividing the Waters, especially with raising the necessary funding for the Program. This group of leaders from the water community convenes at the NJC in Reno as necessary, to address the problem identified by the judges and Conveners. The Board, however, does not meet directly with the judges or Conveners. Instead, the Board meets with the Dividing the Waters Executive Director, some members of the Law School Network, and NJC staff, who work with the Board to address the problem presented.