Environmental Law Research Guide

Provides an overview of federal and state sources related to environmental law, including water law.

Federal Water Law

In Title 33 of the U.S. Code, you'll find the majority of federal water law code, including the laws enacted by:

Treatises & Texts

Water law is a complex combination of laws pertaining to water usage and water pollution, and it can involve federal, state, and local laws. Because of this complexity, it is helpful to begin research in treatises, which will provide synopses and citations to relevant primary law.

Listed below are titles of some of the treatises we have in our collection.  Please also see the Treatises & Texts section on this guide for additional titles on environmental law. 

To find additional treatises and texts, use relevant subject headings to search the library catalog. The Law Library and Lauinger Library (on the main campus) have materials in these subjects; to do a comprehensive catalog search check both libraries. To do this kind of search, after searching the Law Library's catalog (using the default scope of "Law Library Catalog + Articles"), change your search scope to select "Georgetown Univ. + Local Academic Libraries."  Then change your search filters to "subject" from the "any field" menu, change "contains" to "is," and then copy the subject headings below into the search term field. 

  • Water -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Water Law And Legislation United States Cases
  • Water Law And Legislation United States States
  • Water-supply -- Government policy -- United States.
  • Water resources development -- United States.
  • Water resources development -- Environmental aspects -- United States -- Case studies
  • Watersheds -- United States -- Case studies
  • Water-supply -- Management
  • Water-supply -- United States -- Management
  • Water use -- United States
  • Riparian areas -- United States


Please also see the resources on the Law Reviews & Journals section of this guide for researching articles on environmental law topics.

Current Awareness Sources

Below is a list of some resources that track current news in water law. Note that current awareness sources listed under Current Issues & In the News on this guide are also good resources for current news on water law topics. 

Internet Resources

General Websites on Water Law

Federal Agency Websites on Water Law