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.

Water and Real Estate Development in Idaho | October 10 & 11, 2017 | Boise

In many parts of the country we’ve gone from drought to too much water too fast. This creates some interesting water law issues for organizations seeking to divert excess surface water for aquifer recharge.
We have other interesting water issues emerging from the rebound in real estate development in Idaho. One aspect is the conversion of agricultural lands to urban development and the water rights issues arising from change of water use from agricultural to domestic. Real estate and planning professionals will need to brush up on water rights and water quality law. We have a number of topics at this year’s program to help them do that.
Another development issue is the need for new water infrastructure. We’re pleased to have Lorri Gray, Pacific Northwest Regional Director of Bureau of Reclamation, speaking on the Trump Administration’s infrastructure development plans and prospects for federal funding for water infrastructure projects in Idaho.
A number of water infrastructure projects were put on the shelf during the recession and there is interest in dusting them off and moving ahead. There are a number of legal and technical water rights issues that must first be resolved, particularly for projects that went through bankruptcy.
Join us for a comprehensive discussion by a variety of subject matter experts on the water issues for real estate development in Idaho. More information is available here.


Clean Water and Stormwater | June 22 & 23, 2017 – Seattle, WA

One of the highlights of last week’s Clean Water/Stormwater seminar was the discussion of increasing concerns about concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoralkyl Substances (PFAS) in water supplies. Those are very stable substances that accumulate over time, so the concentrations are growing.

Robert Anderson, Senior Principal Hydrogeologist at Geosyntec Consultants, presented an excellent technical overview of what the chemicals are, how they are used, their pathways into drinking water supplies, and treatment options. The presentation was in the context of an actual situation faced by the City of Issaquah, so it included a lot of practical tips.

Program Co-Chair Jeff Kray of Marten Law provided an overview of the legal issues at the interplay between clean water, drinking water, and hazardous waste law. It included a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of using the eight federal and state statutes that could come into play in these situations, in terms of identifying the source, fashioning a remedy, and determining who pays.

You can view a complimentary replay of the discussion on our YouTube channel. Replays of the entire program, which addressed a number of other pressing water quality issues, are available on our website.