It’s not uncommon for a water lawyer to receive a panicked call from a new property owner after discovering they have insufficient water to support their proposed use of the property. This nightmare can arise when:
- there’s a moratorium on new water service connections;
- the connection to a water supply is cost prohibitive;
- the cost of purchasing water rights or supply is too high to support a new use;
- the existing on-site surface water diversion is unpermitted; or
- a well permit is denied because the local groundwater basin is in overdraft or the landowner has no rights to pump groundwater.
Water rights are complex. Adding to that complexity is the new climate reality. Longer droughts, more volatile weather, political uncertainties, increased groundwater regulation, water quality concerns and infrastructure-funding gaps are exacerbating tensions over local and statewide water supplies.
Click here to read the entire article, published in First Tuesday.