Water Law

Determining Rights Under California Water Law

At Caufield & James, our lawyers advise private and public sector clients about California water law. We negotiate and document transactions that transfer or affect water rights, investigate and litigate water quality protection issues, and advise clients about the local, state and federal regulations that affect their use of water. For additional information about our water law practice, contact our office to consult with a knowledgeable natural resource law attorney.

Comprehensive client service in water law transactions and disputes

Characteristic examples of our water law practice include such matters as these:

  • Purchase, lease, sale or assignment of rights in surface waters
  • Negotiations, documentation and enforcement of streambed alteration agreements
  • Applications and hearings related to dredge and fill permits
  • Wastewater discharge permit and enforcement proceedings
  • Representation before the California Water Resources Control Board and local or regional water quality control boards
  • Enforcement of appropriative, prescriptive, riparian or pueblo water rights under California law

Water rights law in California reflects the complexity of the state's history as it incorporates aspects of the civil code tradition of Spanish and Mexican rule, some surviving vestiges of the English common law, and a highly developed environmental protection ethic characteristic of contemporary California values.

Our attorneys' experience with the transfer and enforcement of water rights under a complicated statutory and regulatory scheme can benefit clients with a wide variety of interests: farmers, manufacturers, property developers, cities, municipalities, citizens' groups or Indian tribes. Jeff Caufield represented the Mojave Water Agency throughout the process of resolving water rights over a 2,800-square-mile area, one of the largest ground water adjudications in U.S. history.

Please visit the following pages for additional information.

For additional information about the scope of our water law practice, contact an experienced attorney at Caufield & James.