I came across a link to this article on the PropertyProf Blog - a great source of scholarly research and other fun stuff dealing with property law. This one comes from Jonathan Adler, professor at Case Western Reserve Law School and also a contributor to the Percolator blog from the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) - a great resource for finding solutions to environmental problems that incorporate private property concepts.
The article is titled Water Rights, Markets, and Changing Ecological Conditions. Here's a link to the SSRN page that it can be downloaded from. In it he tries to lay out the reasoning to support increased reliance on private property rights and market mechanisms to deal with uncertainty in water management resulting from factors like climate change. Should be well worth reading.