Water Law

We provide the unconventional thinking necessary to succeed in today’s challenging water resources regulatory environment.

Acquiring Water Rights
Acquiring water rights for clients is our main focus. And as our clients expand or change their operations, we help ensure that their water rights continue to meet their needs.

Protecting Water Rights
Although we emphasize communication and negotiation in resolving conflicts, litigation and water rights adjudication are often the only practical means of protecting our clients’ interests. Carpenter, McGuire & Dewulf has significant water law litigation experience and has tried some noteworthy cases in this arena. We have also participated in recent basin adjudications and have represented many clients in preparing registration statements and water rights claims filings.
Inevitably, conflicts arise between competing water users. We have represented cities, developers, industry and farmers in contested case proceedings before the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board. These matters involved conflicts between junior and senior water users, conversion of minimum stream flows to instream water rights, transfers of existing water rights and conflicts between hydroelectric power use and municipal water use.

Strategic Planning
A steady flow of clean water is essential for many enterprises. We help clients develop long-range management plans to ensure they have the water they need to remain viable—and that they meet their obligations under the Clean Water Act. We are currently working with several municipal water suppliers to develop their long-range water supply plans. We regularly prepare comprehensive water rights status reports to assist clients in their long-term planning, and we advise clients regarding proposed legislative and regulatory amendments affecting the exercise of their water rights.