If you are a California business owner or you are planning to start a business in the Golden State, you may or may not be familiar with the state’s laws concerning water rights. Water is an unquestionably precious commodity in California, as evidenced by the ways in which both the state and the state’s business community responded to the recent severe drought.

Because fresh, clean water is so precious and so necessary to the proper functioning of California’s agricultural and business communities, and because the environment is often impacted in dramatic ways by the distribution of water all over California, the state’s water rights laws are among the most stringent in the nation.

Whether you are looking to build a new office on land containing water, discharge wastewater, purchase water rights or otherwise interact with water in any significant way during the course of your business, you may run up against some challenges related to water rights law. It is therefore generally important to speak with an attorney experienced in this area of state law before acting. Failure to seek legal guidance on these matters could lead to complex and costly fines and liability suits.

It can be difficult to discern when your business may be at risk of unintentionally thwarting California water rights law. As a result, it can pay to be safe rather than sorry. If you suspect that your business may be acting in ways affected by this area of law, please consider seeking legal guidance sooner rather than later.