Stephanie Hastings has played a leading role in several of California’s most complex and precedent-setting water matters. With 20 years of specialized expertise in water law, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience to the acquisition, maintenance, protection and management of water resources and water rights. Her practice spans every aspect of California and national water law. She represents the interests of all water users—wholesale and retail water providers, public and private corporations, government enterprises, investment funds and banks, large landowners, land developers and home builders, ski resorts and golf courses, traditional and renewable energy developers, high tech industries, agriculture and vineyards — in both transactional and litigation matters.
Stephanie helps clients acquire, develop, monetize and protect water supply assets and infrastructure. Her practice includes:
- development, maintenance and protection of surface and groundwater rights
- developing long-term sustainable water supply portfolios for water providers
- securing water supplies and water and wastewater utility services for new development
- complex water rights litigation and adjudications
- reorganization of water and wastewater enterprises
- conjunctive management of surface and groundwater supplies
- water transfers and exchanges
- conservation of water supplies
- development of recycled water supplies
- construction and operation of water supply infrastructure
- regulatory compliance and permitting for water supplies, operations and infrastructure
- compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for water supply and infrastructure projects
- species protection compliance for water supply operations and infrastructure projects
In the surface water context, Stephanie regularly advises clients on surface water regulatory matters, including securing regulatory approvals of changes to water rights, the exercise of senior priority water rights, and defense of enforcement actions.
Stephanie’s extensive groundwater experience includes development of new groundwater supplies in adjudicated and non-adjudicated basins, groundwater management, and complex groundwater litigation and adjudication. On behalf of both public and private clients, Stephanie is actively engaged in implementation of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 in numerous groundwater basins throughout the state, including representation of stakeholders in the process to form and elect local “groundwater sustainability agencies,” identification and adjustment of basin boundaries, development of groundwater sustainability plans, and protection of water users’ water rights and reliable access to groundwater supplies.
A longtime leader in the water community, Stephanie is a director of The Aquaya Institute, a nonprofit research and consulting organization dedicated to advancing public health by improving drinking water worldwide. Operating in Africa and other developing countries, Aquaya delivers the knowledge and tools that are required to deliver universal access to safe drinking water. Formerly, Stephanie was a director of the California Groundwater Resources Association.