The legal and policy framework for managing water spans local, state, and federal governments and Indian tribes and extends into Mexico. Wherever the need, we assist in finding, evaluating, and securing this vital natural resource.
We offer creative solutions for effluent use and reuse, develop recharge and recovery strategies, and negotiate other water resource, entitlement, and environmental mitigation options. Our team includes attorneys with practices in litigation, energy and project finance, public-private partnerships, real estate, environmental issues, and gaming.
With 13 offices throughout the United States, including key Colorado River basin and East Coast states, we are strategically placed to handle a wide variety of complex water issues.
- Water utilities, public and private
Domestic water improvement districts
Community facilities districts
Private irrigation companies
Water Rights in the West
Our practice is deeply rooted in the West. It is based in Phoenix, a city at the forefront of water management and storage. The firm also has offices in the critical basin cities of Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Denver, as well as Los Angeles.
Our attorneys guide clients in acquiring or selling water rights on an intrastate and interstate level throughout the Colorado River Basin. We helped a municipal water provider in planning and implementing a highly successful auction of water rights—the first of its kind. We also have represented numerous clients on the regional marketing of water supplies. Our attorneys have experience handling cross-border disputes over water supply, planning, and effluent control with the International Boundary Water Commission and the Republic of Mexico.
We work with federally reserved water rights associated with tribal land, the U.S. Forest Service, military bases, and other federally owned land. Several group members are trained in Indian law and tribal rights and negotiate and implement complex tribal water rights agreements. We also assist clients in developing regional goals for water use and reuse with tribal, federal, and state partners.
Our attorneys help clients with infrastructure planning and the financing and development of water and wastewater infrastructure facilities. We have participated in public-private partnerships and in the construction of multi-basin, multi-party pipelines, including federal Bureau of Reclamation projects.
We are fluent in municipal and utility law issues, habitat conservation plans, wetlands, 404 permitting, natural resource damages, cultural artifacts, and other environmental issues associated with pumping and transporting water for municipal water providers.
Our attorneys have successfully negotiated the passage of federal legislation, including the Arizona Water Settlements Act and San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Rights Settlements Act. We understand the socio-economic and environmental complexities associated with water law. We draft and lobby for water management legislation, develop water policies and administrative objectives, and draft water development fees and ordinances.
For more than two decades, our attorneys have represented clients in complex ongoing general stream adjudications. We regularly appear before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and federal and state agencies, including state water authorities.
Our attorneys are active in the ongoing Navajo-Hopi Water Rights Settlement Negotiations, water acquisition in Utah's West Desert, and the Lake Powell Pipeline Project. We are fluent in the Fort McDowell Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act.
Regulatory Compliance and Due Diligence
We assist clients in confirming historical use rights and priorities; work with federal, state, and local agencies to help clients meet permitting requirements; and participate in administrative and legislative proceedings.