Water Law and Climate Change (LAWS6191)


This unit of study situates the management of Australia's water resources within an International Law context including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, International Water Law principles and an internationally recognised human right to water. The unit examines the ecologically sustainable management of water resources in the context of climate change, with Australia being the driest inhabited continent. According to the Garnaut Climate Change Review, climate change could halve the productive capacity of the Murray Darling Basin, which produces one third of Australia's food supply, by 2050. In May 2012, the Murray Darling Basin Authority released the controversial Draft Basin Plan which proposes to allocate more water for the environment. At the same time, the Council of Australian Governments is pursuing a decade long process of water reform to establish a national water trading market by 2014. Consequently, the unit examines water resource management from the interdisciplinary perspectives of law, science and within the context of broader economic reform and the National Competition Policy framework. The corporatisation of water utilities and competition in the water service market is also discussed. Key legislation covered are the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW).

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Oct 24, 25 & Dec 5, 6 (9-5)


class participation (20%) and 7000wd essay (80%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.