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Golden RulesThe Origins of California Water Law in the Gold Rush$
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Mark Kanazawa

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226258676

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226258706.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Water Quality and the Law of Nuisance

Water Quality and the Law of Nuisance

(p.217) Chapter Eight Water Quality and the Law of Nuisance
Golden Rules

Mark Kanazawa

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 8 examines an important feature of appropriative law: its treatment of third-party impacts and the degradation of water quality commonly associated with placer mining. Water quality impacts began to be observed with increasing frequency as mining technologies became increasingly water-intensive after 1852. In response, the courts set in place certain principles for addressing disputes over degraded water quality, beginning with a rule based upon reasonable use and subsequently switching to a strict liability rule. This observed progression is consistent with rent maximization within a basin, based upon the size of the nuisance and assuming low transaction costs in purchasing water rights.

Keywords:   water quality, appropriative right, reasonable use, strict liability

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