“Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink.”

Water is as vital for modern-day Californians as it was for 18th-century sailors in Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Falling foul of the Clean Water Act can have severe consequences for your California business. It could send your stocks plummeting faster than a stone to the ocean floor and reduce the flow of customers to a trickle. Water is a big issue, and it will only become more significant as summers get drier.

With the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent decision to strip the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal energy project permits, some business owners may see the decreased regulation as an opportunity to steam ahead with new projects.

The announcement by the EPA comes on top of changes made to the Clean Water Act earlier in the year, to remove protection from pollution for many wetlands and ephemeral streams.

California lawmakers do not intend to take these federal decisions lying down. The state’s attorney general announced he would sue the EPA over the latest changes. The state water board had already introduced regulations to counter the changes made to wetland protection.

The rules are changing fast when it comes to protecting California’s water, and the battle is likely to continue. When considering new projects, it is imperative to seek experienced legal counsel, to make sure you are abreast of the latest changes in California’s environmental law. A failure to understand the legalities could leave you drowning in litigation.