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.