Water Law

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Where does your drinking water come from? Who owns the water? What is a water right? How is it valued? How do you assure a reliable water supply for your home, development project, business, farm, municipality or utility? Who gets water during a drought? Tonkon Torp's experienced water lawyers can help you answer all of these questions and more.

Water disputes are as old as the hills but also as new as recently declining ground water levels or climate change predictions; water law is truly a growing and changing field. Tonkon Torp's attorneys possess years of experience in this area of law. We serve the needs of the Firm's broad spectrum of clients, from individual land owners to large corporations. Representative clients include:
  • Large and small-scale agricultural operations.
  • Commercial and residential developers.
  • Financing sources and investors.
  • Hydroelectric power producers.
  • Recreational businesses.
  • Mining operations.
  • Non-governmental organizations.
  • Water conservation / clean water technology companies.
  • Water supply districts.
  • Wave energy developers.

Tonkon Torp's water lawyers provide representation before state and federal administrative agencies, courts and legislatures. In order to fully meet our clients' needs, we integrate our water law expertise with other practice areas including real estate and land use, energy, government relations and public policy, and environmental law. Our attorneys can help all types of clients—individual, business and governmental—with any water-related matter, including:

Transactions and Counseling

  • Water rights acquisition.
  • Purchase, sale, lease, or donation of water rights.
  • Analysis of water rights, due diligence, title searches, water rights audits (e.g., purchase and sale, asset valuation, secured financing structures, and estate planning).
  • Change or modification of water rights.
  • Mitigation plans and water exchanges.
  • Easements and other water access issues.
  • Impact of environmental regulations on water use.
  • Advisory opinions for new water dependent or water-related businesses.
  • Water project development financing.
  • Waterway ownership disputes.
  • Mitigation banking.

Litigation

  • Agency contested cases.
  • Disputes in state and federal courts.
  • Water rights adjudication.

Administrative Law / State and Federal Permitting

  • Representation in administrative rule making proceedings.
  • Pre-application consultations.
  • Permit applications.
  • Compliance resolution.

Government Relations

  • Representation in state and federal legislative matters.
  • Consultation with state and federal legislators, state and federal agency policy representatives and others within the private and public interest sectors involved in making public policy.