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Our water and water rights lawyers work closely with developers, water and other utilities, home builders, mining companies, municipalities, agribusiness, manufacturers, and companies in numerous other industries on a wide range of water-related legal and regulatory issues. We understand that each state takes a unique approach to the regulation of the use of water, the Southwest’s most critical natural resource.

Lewis Roca provides services across the full spectrum of water and water rights, including:

  • A full range of public and private utility and water provider issues and services
  • Creative water resources, water infrastructure, and water utility strategies for large, long-term development projects
  • Purchase, complex regulatory, permitting, and compliance
  • Sale, lease, and other transactional matters

When necessary, we team with our firm’s seasoned litigators to pursue administrative or judicial solutions. Collaboration between our litigation and regulatory groups provides the breadth of experience we need to represent clients in appearances before state and federal administrative agencies as well as in state and federal courts throughout the Southwest.

Arizona Water Rights

As a desert state, Arizona is dependent on surface and ground water linked to the Colorado river. State laws pertaining to water and water rights have evolved from associated considerations accordingly.

Our water lawyers have worked extensively in such specialized areas as:

  • Allocations and purchases of Colorado River water from the Central Arizona Project and transfers of Colorado River entitlements as well as outside of Active Management Areas (AMAs)
  • Appearances before the Arizona Corporation Commission on regulated utility matters, such as certificates of convenience and necessity, complaints, and transactional matters
  • Groundwater quality issues, including obtaining permits under Arizona’s Aquifer Protection program from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • Groundwater rights and uses in highly regulated AMAs under Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act (GMA)
  • Obtaining 100-year Assured Water Supply determinations for utilities and developers from the Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • The adjudication of Arizona surface water rights in state and federal courts

New Mexico Water Rights

Our New Mexico water lawyers are well-versed in the state’s water and water rights issues, including:

  • Adjudicating New Mexico surface water rights in state and federal courts
  • Appearances before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on regulated utility matters
  • Appearances before the Office of the State Engineer on water rights transfers
  • Assisting municipalities and local communities in developing 40-Year Water Plans
  • Mendenhall water rights

The firm’s water lawyers work closely with and before a wide variety of state, local, and tribal governmental agencies as well as with numerous federal agencies, including:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers
  • The Bureau of Land Management
  • The Bureau of Reclamation
  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Forest Service

Our comprehensive experience with these agencies’ procedures and practices allows us to structure strategies and negotiate solutions that produce successful results for our clients.

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