Water Law

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Our lawyers have decades of experience representing individuals, private companies, and governmental agencies in water rights and water resource issues. Our clients include ranchers, farmers, developers, urban water suppliers, and irrigation and reclamation districts in California, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, and Nevada. We have also participated in the adjudication of water rights before administrative agencies and in state and federal courts in several western states. We have worked with federal water masters under existing federal river decrees, and litigated these issues in federal and state courts in several western states.

Our attorneys are knowledgeable, creative and hardworking. Whenever possible, we seek solutions to problems that will avoid disputes and litigation. When necessary, we are prepared to be tenacious advocates for our clients, bringing to bear our extensive experience in trial and appellate courts.

Project Experience

  • Surface water diversions, including fish screens
  • Surface water reservoirs, including fish passage facilities
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Groundwater extraction
  • Large scale groundwater appropriation and interbasin transfer projects
  • Conjunctive use programs, including groundwater recharge with both native and imported water
  • Banking arrangements in off-site groundwater storage
  • Recycled water acquisition, transmission and distribution
  • Desalination of brackish groundwater
  • Water treatment plants
  • Water transfers

Agency Interactions

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • National Park Service
  • California State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Department of Water Resources
  • California Coastal Commission
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards
  • Counties and Cities

Water Supply Agency Services

  • Safe Drinking Water Act compliance
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Wetlands delineation and protection
  • Dredge and fill Permits under the federal Clean Water Act
  • Urban water management plans preparation
  • Groundwater management plans
  • Water Supply Assessments (under SB 610).
  • Water conservation measures and rationing ordinances
  • Rate structure design
  • Wholesale-retail water supply contracts

For a more in-depth overview of our capabilities, please refer to our water law brochure.