As further evidence of the growing need to link growth and land use with water supply, the Environmental Law Institute, the American Planning Association and other organizations cosponsored a conference in February 2003 titled Wet Growth: Should Water Law Control Land Use? It was cosponsored by and held at the Center for Land Resources at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.
As we search for effective ways to integrate water, growth and land use, it is instructive to keep in mind the “land ethic” articulated by conservationist Aldo Leopold (1949, 224-225): “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” The land ethic, according to Leopold, is based on the premise that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. It provides moral direction on relationships between individuals and society and between humans and the biotic community, which includes soil, plants and animals, or collectively, land and water. This principle should inspire and guide us as we develop effective public policies to sustain communities and landscapes.
Leopold, Aldo. 1949. A Sand County almanac. New York: Oxford University Press.