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J. Envtl. L. & Litig.


This model legislation is the culmination of an earlier work, A Next, Big Step for the West: Using Model Legislation to Create a Water- Climate Element in Local Comprehensive Plans.' That articleargues that local governments, as the primary regulators of land use and population planning, are integral to our climate and drought response in the West. That article then calls for a new, freestanding "waterclimate element" in local government comprehensive plans that integrates the often disparate realms of land use, water use, and climate planning and better prepares communities for "managing water in wise, resilient, and collaborative ways."2 This approach offers the possibility of uniform water-climate planning across local jurisdictions and watersheds and pushes us to think beyond the short-term, assured supply paradigm that limits our current thinking.3 This approach also provides a tangible response to the emerging consensus that local-level initiatives may be the most essential path to confronting the climate challenges of our time.4 Inspired by the model land use enabling legislation that swept our nation in the 1920s, the earlier article generally outlines the content for new model enabling legislation that the state legislatures of today can adopt.5 What follows below is the specific language of that model legislation, patterned after its 1920s predecessors, with annotations and supporting commentary. 6

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