Dean A. Couch - GableGotwals

Dean A. Couch

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2016
Phone: 405-235-5596

After more than three decades on the front lines of state and national water law issues, Dean Couch is bringing his expertise and experience to the clients of GableGotwals. From complex litigation involving states, municipalities, tribes, federal agencies, companies and individuals to state/tribal compacts and property rights, he has played a role in some of this country's most important water-related litigation.

As a respected expert on water law, Dean served for almost 30 years as the general counsel for the Oklahoma Water resources Board, the state's primary governing authority for most water matters. He helped guide the state through the legalities of issues such as riparian and appropriation doctrines, private property rights, state water quality standards, floodplain management and use of groundwater for oil/gas drilling and animal feeding operations. Dean has advised state leaders during negotiations of water compacts with state, tribal and federal governments.

Dean has drafted legislation relating to water quality and water quantity matters for state and federal approval. He has reviewed and opined on the compliance of more than $2 billion in municipal and rural water district bond issues for the state's water and wastewater financial assistance program.

Dean has served as chairperson and member of the legal advisory committees of the four Interstate Stream Compacts to which Oklahoma is a party: the Red River Compact Commission, Canadian River Commission, Kansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Compact Commission and Arkansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Compact Commission. He has also been actively involved with the Western States Water Council.

Additional Information

Published Work

American Bar Association's Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Year-In-Review

Oklahoma Law Review

Oklahoma Environmental Law Handbook

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Water Law Newsletter.


The University of Oklahoma Law School - Water Law

The University of Tulsa Law School - Water Law

Oklahoma City University School of Law - Guest Lecturer on water issues

Areas of Concentration

Water Law

Energy, Oil & Gas

University of Central OklahomaBS 1976University of OklahomaJ.D. 1982
American Bar AssociationOklahoma Bar AssociationWestern States Water CouncilGovenor's Solid Waste Task Force

Case History

Recent Experience

Coordinating with local communities on floodplain management issues and FEMA requirements

Overseeing compliance with legal requirements for state agency operations, administrative procedures requirements for agency rules, hearings and orders

Open Records Act and Open Meeting Law compliance

State agency acquisitions and contracts

Representation of state agency in court proceedings

Review and oversight of legal requirements for state agency bond issues, water and wastewater financial assistance programs

Legal advisor to Oklahoma on four interstate stream compacts, reservoir storage rights with federal Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation

Oklahoma Department of Mines Informal Conference Officer


Office Location

One Leadership Square, 15th Floor
211 North Robinson Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7101
United States

Practice Areas

Water Law

Other Information

Gender: Male