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Water Rights & Water Law


While water is the most fundamental  commodity necessary for the operation of society,  every unit of government and the private sector, the production and distribution of water is complicated. It is governed both by complex statutory provisions and regulations and by arcane case law bearing its own legal vocabulary. A water practice also requires a fundamental understanding of hydrologic principles and the ability to develop policy and legal strategies working together with engineers and other scientific experts.  RWG’s attorneys have provided advice concerning those statutes, regulations and common law authorities for decades. That advice has been provided to and remains available to public agencies and private water producers and rate payers.

Water law advice has been provided by RWG and is available on the construction, operation and maintenance of water supply systems, interagency water supply agreements, water quality and treatment issues, and water rate structures and related Proposition 218 issues and constraints. In addition, General Counsel services for water supply entities are provided by and available from RWG throughout the state. Those services merge water law capability with RWG’s cutting-edge level of general legal services provided to dozens of California local public entities.

RWG’s services on water allocation issues has been provided for over 45 years and includes groundwater rights, surface water rights, military reserved rights,  Tribal reserved rights and rights to produce water in accordance with a Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The creation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and the generation of basin implementation plans requires intense legal attention at this time when local water producers are newly required by state law to manage their basins in a manner which sustains each basin as a resource while allocating water to competing producers. Efforts to do so must be successful to ward off state level intervention to protect a basin. RWG is providing that crucial advice to clients with water production interests in a number of basins as to which sustainability plans must be approved within the next three years.


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Richards, Watson & Gershon delivers practical advice and solutions tailored to the unique needs of public entities. Working seamlessly across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Temecula, the Central Coast, and Sacramento, and our dedicated team of experts provides the full scope of public law services.

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