The law of England and Wales governing streams, rivers, estuaries and related waters, collectively termed ‘watercourses’, is a curious mixture of longstanding common law principles and modern statute law. On the one hand, the present-day rights of riparian owners, and others with acquired interests in flowing waters, are frequently determined by case law dating back, in some instances, to mediaeval times. On the other hand, much of the regulatory regime governing water quality, water quantity and the protection of the aquatic environment has recently been the subject of extensive legislative amendment. Wisdom’s Law of Watercourses spans the diverse sources of national and European Union law applicable to watercourses to provide a comprehensive account of all the key legal issues.
Wisdom’s Law of Watercourses:
- Provides comprehensive coverage of the distinctive principles of common law on water rights and the statutory requirements relating to water management, water quality, water quantity and recreation and conservation.
- Particular coverage is given to developments under the Environment Act 1995, the Water Act 2003, the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, and the Aquatic Animal Health Regulations 2009.
- Discussion of recent cases on water rights, fisheries and conservation , including the important decisions in Lovett v Fairclough on the acquisition of fishing rights, the Cambridge Water case on groundwater pollution, Leakey v National Trust and subsequent cases relating to liability for natural hazards on land, the Will’s Trustees case on the acquisition of public rights of navigation and cases relating to the protection of habitats culminating in the Wightlink case.
- New Chapter on conservation law in relation to the aquatic environment, including coverage of International conventions, European Union measures and domestic legislation providing protection of freshwater and marine habitats.
- New Chapter on European Union water legislation, explaining the requirements of directives concerned with water quality and the measures that have been adopted nationally to implement these directives.