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Seventy-five years of Alberta water law: Maturity, demise and rebirth

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  • Water law has been of great importance in Alberta's legal and economic community over the last seventy-five years. By the time the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law first opened its doors in 1921, the reformed law of water allocation had already reached maturity and was showing its first signs of strain. Over the next seventy-five years, the problems that were beginning to emerge in 1827 gradually created irresistible pressures for change until, in 1996, the law of water allocation underwent a further major transformation. The purpose of this article is to describe this evolution in the law of water allocation. The author begins by outlining how the law had developed to maturity by 1921 and the problems that were beginning to emerge at that time. He goes on to explain how those problems finally overwhelmed the existing law by the last decade of the century. Finally, the author sets out the legislative response in the form of the new Water Act of 1996. | Au cours des soixante-quinze dernidres annies, la loi sur les eaux a pris une importance considgrable dans les cercles juridiques et dconomiques de I'Alberta. En 1921, quand la faculti de droit de l'Universitj de IAlberta a ouvert ses portes, la loi modifide relative d la quantitj d'eau alloude avait ddjd atteint sa maturiti et montrait ses premiers signes de faiblesse. Au cours des soixante-quinze anndes suivantes, les probldmes qui dmergeaient en 1827 ont graduellement crdd d'irrdsistibles pressions jusqu'en 1996, date di laquelle la loi a subi une autre transformation majeure. L 'auteur se propose de ddcrire l'dvolution de cette loi. Il explique ensuite comment les probldmes qui se sont manifestds vers 1921 ontfini par submerger la loi au cours des dix dernidres anndes. Finalement, il prdsente la nouvelle loi de 1996 sur les eaux.

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    © 1996 David Percy et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Percy, D. (1996). Seventy-five years of Alberta water law: Maturity, demise and rebirth. Alberta Law Review, 35(1), 221-241. Retrieved from
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