Find Lawyers in Denver, Colorado for Water Law
Practice Area Overview
Water use law practice starts at the fundamental level with the rights of owners of property abutting a surface water, i.e. riparian owners, to use water without unreasonably interfering with the rights of other riparian owners. This can involve both withdrawing and using water or diverting the flow of surface water. The withdrawal of groundwater is also regulated where necessary to avoid overuse of aquifers. A body of state statutes and regulations regulates certain uses of water, such as transfers of water from one river basin to another, withdrawal of groundwater from overused aquifers, impoundment of water, and construction of wells. In addition, the Federal Safe Water Drinking Act regulates the treatment of water by water supply systems.
Water pollution law practice is an extraordinarily complex area of common law and regulatory programs. It can involve areas of common law such as nuisance, trespass, and negligence, but more often it involves an interwoven and overlapping network of federal and state statutes and regulations. A partial list includes state laws regulating surface water discharges from point sources; sedimentation and erosion; stormwater runoff; land uses in nutrient-sensitive waters and water supply watersheds; and sources of groundwater pollution. Federal regulatory programs include regulation of wetlands and construction in navigable waters and establishment of total maximum daily loads in highly polluted surface water bodies.
Clients in this area of practice include local governments, utilities, private developers, and industries seeking to build or expand water supply and waste treatment facilities, or engaging in large land development projects involving wetlands, stormwater controls, and water-dependent uses such as docks and marinas.
Representation of such clients frequently involves compliance counseling to obtain agency permits, and sometimes includes administrative litigation when the agency denies approval or when another person challenges an approval. Water law practice also can involve litigation in court, sometimes in the form of appeals of agency decisions, penalties or orders and sometimes private party claims based on nuisance, negligence, trespass, interference with riparian rights, or citizens’ suits to address alleged violations of regulatory requirements.
Thirty-five years navigating complex land use and water issues. Facilitated hundreds of millions in water rights deals. Respected authority on water, land use and environmental law matters. Few can rival Wayne’s experience handling high-profile land use, water, environmental and condemnation matters. Public entities and private companies throughout the Rocky Mountain region have counted on his experience to handle challenging land use and water issues, including water rights litigation ...
More than a decade of litigation and transactional experience in natural resources law. Handles multifaceted water rights cases throughout the state of Colorado. Dulcinea practices natural resources law, with a particular focus on water and environmental litigation and transactions. She represents municipal, corporate, nonprofit and individual clients in administrative proceedings, litigation, and appeals in both state and federal court and in water contract negotiations. She has provided leg...
Understands complexities of water litigation, acquisitions and transactions. In 40-plus year career has led 750 water litigations and over 20 Supreme Court appeals. Former senior water counsel and first assistant attorney general for the Water Unit of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Steve Sims is a leading western water law attorney with a focus on water court litigation, water acquisition strategy and water transactions in the west. He brings four decades of experience represen...
With extensive experience in water law, Mr. Thorne effectively represents clients in water court litigation and related administrative proceedings, including adjudication of water rights, changes of water rights, and complex plans for augmentation. He also assists clients with water rights acquisitions and in the development and negotiation of water supply arrangements. Mr. Thorne has substantial experience with project development and financing for energy companies developing water supplies ...
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