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This Article seeks to separate the myth from the reality of federal deference to state water allocation authority. Section I briefly addresses background principles of state water law and federal constitutional law, and Section II traces the early history of deference prior to 1910. Section III analyzes three federal statutory schemes and Supreme Court cases applying them, suggests that each represents a different level of federal deference, and distills a few principles for analyzing deference under federal statutes. Section IV addresses deference issues arising in the context of the CWA and the ESA, applying the principles identified in the previous section. Section V concludes with some points regarding the future of federal deference to states in water resource matters.

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Utah Law Review Association



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