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Water Law Experience - Arizona

Arizona Water Law Experience

Lewis and Roca represents water companies in regulatory and transactional matters, including applications for Certificates of Convenience & Necessity; environmental compliance; power acquisition strategies; purchase and sale of water utility assets; negotiation of main extension agreements for new subdivisions; rate case filings before the Arizona Corporation Commission; and commercial contract negotiations. Our lawyers focusing in this area work closely with colleagues involved in the firm’s corporate, governmental relations, environmental and natural resources practices. We have formed, and obtained regulatory operating authority for dozens of new private water companies.

Currently we are involved in representing the largest water improvement district in Arizona in connection with an aggressive expansion program, through annexation and the purchase of existing private water utility assets. While we primarily represent developer-owned utilities, we have also represented municipal utilities in negotiating and drafting water and wastewater infrastructure agreements. Because we have substantial experience in representing developers in connection with their negotiations with water utilities, we bring a full understanding of both sides of such negotiations to bear for each client we represent.

Representative Matters

  • Counsel to the Organizing Committee of the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, a successful customer-managed effort to purchase and manage a formerly private water utility that now serves more than 80,000 people in Northwest Tucson.
  • Counsel to private water utilities in connection with permitting the drilling of new wells to serve an expanding customer base.
  • Counsel to help water utility clients establish, protect and defend their water rights, whether they arise under Arizona's groundwater code, or its surface water code.
  • Counsel to private water utilities to negotiate agreements to provide water utility services to new service territories, and obtain Arizona Corporation Commission approval for those expansions.
  • Counsel to municipal utilities regarding compliance with regulations arising under section 208 of the Clean Water Act, as they are implemented by regional Councils of Government, including the Pima Association of Governments, and the Maricopa Association of Governments.
  • Counsel to clients to obtain judicial approval of subcontracts for water from the Central Arizona Project, as required by Federal Reclamation Law.
  • Counsel to water utilities and developers to provide water rights advice and to obtain “assured water supply” determinations from the Department of Water Resources under Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act of 1980.
  • Counsel to developers of master planned communities to provide water resource, water infrastructure, and water utility strategies.
  • Counsel to developers to negotiate utility service agreements, infrastructure agreements and reclaimed water regarding use agreements.
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