Tribal Water Law in California | October 26 & 27, 2017 | Valley Center

Anecita Agustinez, Tribal Policy Advisor to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) will open this year’s conference with a progress report on the state’s implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) with a focus on the activities of most concern for Tribes. She’ll be followed by Art Bunce, who wrote the Tribal-protective language in the Act. He’ll report on early stage Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). They’ll lay the groundwork for a panel discussion on effective Tribal participation in development of future GSPs.

The remainder of the first day will be devoted to an analysis of the implications of recent litigation involving Tribal water rights and water rights settlements. We’ll take a detailed look at (1) the 9th Circuit decision in the Agua Caliente litigation, which held that the Tribe has a right to groundwater in addition to surface water; (2) the terms of the San Luis Rey River Water Rights settlement and the what is next for implementation of the agreement, and (3) a national overview of other state and federal Tribal water cases.

On the second day, we’ll address a number of key related Tribal water topics:
~ California’s Water Infrastructure: DWR’s assessment of needs and projects in the works in light of Orville Dam and other recent infrastructure failures.
~ Natural Resources Agency’s perspective on the best way to address the environmental impacts of surface water management, using salty dust emissions from evaporation of water from the Salton Sea as an example.
~ From drought to heavy rains: Legal and technical perspectives on the options for capturing more surface water for aquifer recharge with an eye towards ways for Tribes to capture more surface water in preparation for the next drought.

We’ll end the day with practical evidentiary and legal strategy advice on how to (1) effective participate in groundwater basin boundary modifications; (2) quantifying Tribal water rights in preparation for participation in development of GSPs and dispute resolution processes.

We hope you will join us for two information-packed days at the Rincon’s Harrah’s Resort and for conversation with the faculty and other participants at the Day 1 reception sponsored by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP. More information is available on our website.

Tribal Water in the Pacific Northwest | June 1 & 2, 2017 – Seattle, WA

Our upcoming conference brings together an exceptional faculty to address major developments for Tribal water in the Pacific Northwest. We are pleased to include Pamela Williams, Director of the Indian Water Rights Office at the US Department of the Interior. Key topics include:

  • Impact of the 2016 Presidential election on federal and Tribal water policies
  • Update on pending Tribal water issues in the Pacific Northwest including Klamath Basin issues
  • Stream flows in the Pacific Northwest including water release management on the Columbia River
  • Update on the Culverts Case, the Hirst Case, and other judicial developments impacting Tribal water management
  • Provisions of the EPA’s new rule authorizing tribes to administer the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) program within their reservations
  • Technical considerations of water resources management

Throughout the conference, we will explore ways in which Tribes, local governments and water agencies can work cooperatively to ensure an adequate and sustained supply of water for mutually beneficial uses into the future. We hope you can join us.

Tribal Water in Arizona | January 21 & 22, 2016 | Phoenix

Join us for a comprehensive overview of the law governing Tribal water rights and the impact on Tribal water projects. The program will cover:

• Long range regional precipitation forecasts for the Southwest and the impact on water supplies

• Stretching water supplies through Tribal water banking

• Recent adjudications of Tribal water rights through litigation and settlement negotiations

• Prospects for future Congressional action on Indian water rights settlements

• A detailed look at administrative and legislative process that settlement parties will need to consider as they seek federal funding for future settlements

• Data collection for gathering the evidence necessary to prove your legal case on water rights issues

• Adapting water management strategies to  new EPA Clean Water Act regulations

• Innovative water marketing and exchange agreements to enable Tribes, local governments, and non-Tribal water users to ensure an adequate and sustained supply of water

We hope you see you there. If travel is a problem, you can also participate via live webcast.

Click here for the full program agenda.