Water Law Experience (ABQ)
Water Law Experience (ABQ)
- Determining the status of and preserving the water rights of several New Mexico municipalities in their providing water services to neighboring communities in a cooperative effort to address their needs. For the City of Santa Rosa, litigation involved in the Lower Pecos has interstate implications for deliveries to Texas. The Lewis and Roca water law attorneys are working with OSE, Interstate Stream Commission, and Carlsbad Irrigation District to resolve some of the issues related to the Hope Decree and priority dates for several water rights holders along the Pecos River.
- Conducting hearings before the OSE regarding the transfer of water rights to a New Mexico County. Work included conducting a pre-1907 determination of water rights in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District regarding the transfer and sale of water rights. Also for the County, we prepared lease agreements between the County and the City of Albuquerque for water and water rights. Firm attorneys also worked with County Parks and Recreation Division regarding water conservation measures for playing fields and obtaining water and preserving water rights for land being purchased as part of the County’s open space purchases approved by the County voters.
- Lewis and Roca attorneys were involved in an extensive sale and purchase agreement of a private utility before the Public Regulation Commission. In addition to the regulatory issues involved in the transfer, the proceeding involved extensive water related issues including the following: analysis and interpretations of declared yields under a 1972 Court ordered decree involving the State Engineer's Office and the utility; analysis of the impacts of production, consumption, conservation, and population increases on the system capacities; development of a line extension policy approved by the Commission involving water and water rights for new developments; ownership and transfers of water rights; work with two hydrogeologic engineers examining historical and long-term water supplies in the service area of the utility; integration of supplemental and exploratory wells into the system plan; examination of well-share agreements with existing water rights; examination of inter-basin transfers; and discussions with numerous engineers at the Office of the State Engineer concerning declared yields and proof of beneficial use of claimed water rights for the utility.
- For an El Paso electric company, water law attorneys researched and compiled a comprehensive study regarding surface and groundwater rights dating back to the early 1900s. This report included sales, leases, purchases, changes in well designations, and “Stacked water rights.”
- Firm attorneys conducted a full rate case proceeding on behalf of a water utility before the PRC which included a conservation rate plan, a comprehensive Contribution in Aid of Construction Policy approved by the Commission and a Water Sanitation District. We also reached a settlement with a neighboring water company and assisted in the development of a plan for an automated water conservation installation.