Overview of Services
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.
- 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
- 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
News & Resources
Court of Appeal Finds Proposition 218 Challenge is Time Barred
The Court of Appeal found in Campana v. EBMUD that a Prop 218 challenge to tiered water rates was barred by the 120-day statute of limitations period for reverse validation of municipal utility district water rates.
Which Wetlands Can the Clean Water Act Regulate? The Supreme Court Tries Settling Decades of Uncertainty
The Supreme Court significantly narrows the Army Corps and EPA’s authority to regulate wetlands, creating a regulatory void that California will fill.
Governor Newsom Waives Permitting and CEQA for Diversion of Flood Waters from March 10 to June 1, 2023, with Conditions
Governor Newsom’s Executive Order Waives Water Right Permitting and CEQA Requirements for Groundwater Recharge.
New Legislation May Alter California’s Established Water Rights System
Recently introduced legislation would create new administrative enforcement processes that allow the State Board to make binding determinations on water rights, including riparian and pre-1914 rights.
California Department of Water Resources Determines Certain Groundwater Sustainability Plans are Inadequate – Now What?
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) found that certain subbasins are now inadequate on the grounds that they do not substantially comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) or the regulations governing GSPs.
Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Enhance Water Supply Resilience Amid Extreme Hydrologic Conditions
What Redefining “Waters of the United States” Under Clean Water Act, Again, Means for California
The Biden Administration changes—yet again—which waters the Clean Water Act regulates. But that change impacts California differently than other states.
Hanson Bridgett Strengthens Water Law Bench
November 17, 2022 (Sacramento, CA) — Hanson Bridgett LLP is pleased to announce that David Cameron has joined the firm's Sacramento office as a partner in the Government Section and the Water Law Practice Group.
State Water Board Lacks Power to Curtail Pre-1914 Water Rights under Water Code, § 1052(a)
A California Court of Appeal held that the State Water Board lacks authority to curtail valid pre-1914 appropriative water rights holders from diverting water