Upcoming Event: David Sandino, Senior Staff Counsel, California Department of Water Resources

Upcoming Event:

Columbia Water Center and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights present David Sandino, Senior Staff Counsel, California Department of Water Resources

When: Thursday April 12, 2018

Where: Columbia School of Law, Room 106

Time: 12:10pm – 1:10pm


David Sandino served as Chief Counsel for the California Department of Water Resources from 2006-2010 under an appointment by Government Arnold Schwarzenegger and currently serves as senior staff counsel.  He has worked on significant water, environmental, tribal, and energy issues during his twenty-year career with the Department. The Department operates the largest state-built water system in the United States, which delivers water to 25 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland. He currently serves as counsel for the Department’s Tribal Policy Advisor and the California’s representative to the Klamath River Compact Commission.

His academic career has centered on teaching professional and undergraduate natural resource courses. He has taught water law, environmental law, energy resources law, real property and local government law at Texas Tech University School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Santa Clara University School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, and Sacramento State University. He also created and teaches courses for environmental professionals on California water law and policy, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and tribal water law. He received a 1999 Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Russia, where he taught international environmental law at the Moscow State Academy.  He received a distinguished teaching award from the UC Davis Extension for his contribution to natural science education.

He is on the Board of Editors of California Environmental Law Reporter, and he has written numerous articles about natural resources issues. He has been a frequent speaker and lecturer on water, tribal, and environmental issues at universities, conferences and seminars. He is a graduate of the Santa Clara University School of Law, King’s College (London), and UC Davis.

Presentation Abstract:   The Human Right to Water (HTRW) treats water accessibility and affordability for human consumptions and sanitation as a fundamental human right, not as a property right, commodity, or an environmental resource as it has traditionally been considered in legal systems.  Originating in international law, the HRTW is gaining acceptance as part of American jurisprudence. The drought brought public attention to the lack of water accessibility for several California communities.  California became the first state recognizing the HRTW by statute. The HRTW is now being implemented in California by state and local governments, including providing assistance to disadvantaged communities lacking access to water. This presentation will explore the legal development of the HRTW and the challenges of implementation in California through case studies


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