Water Law
Tonkon Torp understands the pressing questions surrounding the use of water and the complexities in water law. We help navigate administrative processes for obtaining water rights. We look for creative solutions to meet water needs and to resolve contentious water disputes.

We call upon our years of experience, while also staying up-to-date on emerging issues, including declining groundwater levels and climate change predictions. Our clients include:
  • Large and small-scale agricultural operations
  • Commercial and residential developers
  • Financing sources and investors
  • Hydroelectric power producers
  • Renewable energy developers
  • Recreational businesses
  • Non-governmental organizations
We provide representation before state and federal administrative agencies, courts, and legislatures. We integrate water law expertise with other practice areas including real estate and land use, energy, government relations, public policy, and environmental law.
Our water law experience covers a broad range of legal services.


We have assisted clients on a variety of transactions involving water law and water rights, including:
  • Water rights acquisition
  • Purchase, sale, lease, or donation of water rights
  • Analysis of water rights, due diligence, title searches, and water rights audits
  • 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
  • Waterway ownership disputes
  • Mitigation banking

Water Law Litigation

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

Administrative Law/State & 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


Janet  Neuman

Janet Neuman

Senior Counsel

Acquisition of 540 Acres, Subject to Conservation Easement

Represented the Columbia Land Trust in the acquisition of 540 acres from the Port of Vancouver, USA in the Vancouver Lake Bottomlands, subject to a conservation easement requiring that the land be actively managed to provide a feeding and nesting area for the costal flock of the Pacific Flyway population of Sandhill cranes.

Clean Water Act Violation Defense

Negotiated settlements with third-party citizen-suit claimants under the Clean Water Act.

Water Right Transfers

Represented clients in matters concerning the purchase and sale of water and water rights.

Water Rights Contested Case Defense

Represented hydro-power producers in water rights contested case proceedings before the Oregon Department of Water Resources and appellate courts.

Water Rights Protection

Represented clients in administrative proceedings to secure new and protect existing water rights.

Janet  Neuman
Practice Area Chair

Janet Neuman

Senior Counsel