Water Rights & Resources

Services & Industries >> Water Rights & Resources


Allen Matkins has an extensive water law practice, with expertise in every facet of water rights, water supply, use, distribution and policy. We represent clients in matters involving riparian, appropriative and overlying water rights, as well as issues pertaining to the unreasonable use and misuse of water, and entitlements under state and federal water contracts. We are leaders in water exchanges, transfers and conveyance, sales and leases, and water supply management. Our attorneys represent clients in water rights proceedings before state and federal courts and regulatory bodies of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Our attorneys have established a record of creativity and ingenuity in solving problems related to projects that involve water supply for domestic, irrigation, or industrial use and species mitigation. We represent municipal and investor owned water and wastewater utilities, irrigation districts, owners/operators of power plants and alternative energy projects, hydroelectric facilities operators, industrial users, agricultural users, land owners and industrial, commercial, recreational and residential developers.

We counsel clients on compliance with legislation requiring analysis of water supplies for proposed projects, including SB 221, SB 610 and other similar state and local rules and regulations on water supply. We advise clients on legislative and regulatory developments regarding water conservation, desalination, reclaimed/recycled water, groundwater and conjunctive use management, and other alternative water supplies.

Allen Matkins provides the full range of transactional services for water related transactions, including due diligence to ascertain existing or prospective water rights, evaluating the best strategy for protecting or augmenting existing water supply, negotiating and documenting purchase, transfer, exchange and leases, complying with instream flow and other mitigation requirements, formation of water utilities or districts and development, construction and financing of infrastructure for water supply for commercial, recreational and residential developers.

We are experienced in all aspects of permitting the development of new water supply and storage projects, such as seawater and groundwater desalination, aquifer storage and recovery and the transmission and delivery facilities required to support such projects.
Allen Matkins has litigated many types of water rights issues, including adjudication of surface streams and groundwater basins and litigation over Colorado River rights.


Allen Matkins' water quality practice encompasses a broad spectrum, from industrial pre-treatment compliance to regional stormwater permits that apply to hundreds of discharges and numerous jurisdictions. Areas of our water quality practice include point source and jurisdiction-wide permitting, Clean Water Act section 401 water quality certification, Clean Water Act section 404 dredge and fill permits (wetlands permits), Total Maximum Daily Load issues, Water Quality Control Plan Triennial Review, Basin Plan updates and revision of water quality standards, watershed-based programs/regional Best Management Practices, and construction- and post-construction-phase water quality compliance. We have experience in all facets of traditional point source regulation (industrial, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Publicly Owned Treatment Works), as well as what historically was considered non-point source runoff (urban and agricultural runoff and storm water).

Our practitioners defend clients in penalty actions, administrative enforcement proceedings and citizen suits under the Clean Water Act, including major cases for the industrial sector and home building industries; and represent clients in numerous permit proceedings.

Our clients include public and private entities engaged in the development and/or operation of industrial, commercial, recreational, agricultural, energy and residential projects, water and wastewater utilities, irrigation districts, marinas, and port districts. We represent clients in negotiations with and adversarial proceedings before the many federal, state and local agencies that have jurisdiction over water quality.