Russ Harding, director of the Center's Property Rights Network, is cited in a Detroit News editorial today about proposed legislation that would place all groundwater in Michigan in a "public trust."
The News cites this Viewpoint by Harding, which explains how Michigan for well over a century has used riparian water rights to guide public policy on the matter. Such as approach, Harding explains, is used by most states east of the Mississippi, and gives property owners rights to reasonable use of the water under the land they own. This approach has served Michigan well, Harding says, because Michigan has an abundance of groundwater. "If Michigan has a water shortage," Harding has been known to ask, "then why do so many homes require sump pumps?" House Bill 5319, however, would put that water in a public trust and require property owners to obtain a permit from the state to use the water.
Harding's Viewpoint explains that an amendment to the Ohio Constitution last year strengthening riparian water rights there passed with 72 percent of the vote.