The Water Excise Tax: Preserving a Necessary Resource

Lee, Thomas | January 1, 2009

This Comment will first examine the history and current state of laws regulating water use in the United States, and the commercial uses that are the target of the proposed Water Excise Tax. The next step will be to discuss the tax itself from several perspectives: First, its constitutionality, structure, and application in the framework of existing water law; second, its advantages and disadvantages based on its regulatory nature and scope; and finally, the normative benefits of indirect regulation. The theses underlying all of these sections are that public drinking water will become scarce in the very near future, that indirect regulation through the Water Excise Tax will help solve the problem of water availability, and that such regulations will provide the government with funds to ensure that the public supply of drinking water does not dry up in our lifetimes.