WilmerHale's lawyers have decades of experience addressing water supply and water quality issues throughout the United States and internationally.


WilmerHale's Water Resources Group includes some of the nation's foremost authorities on water law. Our lawyers—including a former Secretary of the Interior and a former Commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation—have served as senior government officials at federal agencies responsible for water resource management, development and protection. We have extensive experience working with international and state regulatory agencies that oversee water resources.

Clients benefit from our lawyers' significant technical knowledge, as well as the firm's recognized strengths in the areas of public policy, project finance and development, corporate transactions, intellectual property, government contracting, Native American law, and dispute resolution. We assist water suppliers and utilities, investors and project developers seeking funding or permitting guidance, entities seeking to protect or adjudicate water rights, and entities seeking guidance on complying with the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and other environmental and natural resource laws and regulations.

Contacts

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Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar

Partner

+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office

Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Gold, H. David

H. David Gold

Special Counsel

+1 617 526 6425 (t)

david.gold@wilmerhale.com

Rachel Jacobson

Rachel Jacobson

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6385 (t)

rachel.jacobson@wilmerhale.com

Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Partner

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch

Partner

+1 617 526 6779 (t)

rob.kirsch@wilmerhale.com

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis

Partner

+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

frederic.louis@wilmerhale.com

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff

Partner

+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

john.ratliff@wilmerhale.com

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross

Partner

+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

lester.ross@wilmerhale.com

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar

Partner

+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Seyfarth, Martin

Martin Seyfarth

Partner

+49 30 20 22 64 30 (t)

martin.seyfarth@wilmerhale.com

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Partner

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Water Rights

  • Representing a US state, state capital and other related entities in multi-state water rights litigation involving the US Army Corps of Engineers. 
  • Assisting a sovereign tribal entity in asserting its rights pursuant to a negotiated Indian water rights settlement with the United States.
  • Advising a ski resort operator on legal issues arising from a proposed increase in water withdrawals for snowmaking.
  • Advising a major water utility on legal and policy issues associated with specific projects, policies, negotiations and other actions involving management of the Colorado River.
  • Assisting a resource development company with securing water rights and federal and state agency approvals for a proposed potash solution mining project in Utah. 

Water Infrastructure

  • Advising a leading engineering and construction company on all aspects associated with the permitting and development of a 5-million-gallon-per-day desalination project in Massachusetts.
  • Representing a water services company in mediation to resolve a construction-related dispute arising from a steam pipeline project in Massachusetts.
  • Advising project developers on all aspects associated with the permitting, development, financing and construction of large water supply projects in Colorado.
  • Advising an investor in negotiating a joint venture with a multinational food and beverage corporation for the production and distribution of bottled drinking water in Egypt and the Middle East.
  • Advising a public utility on implementation of fish passage requirements in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydroelectric facility.
  • Representing an engineering company in an arbitration dispute arising from a hydropower project in Peru.
  • Advising international investors on proposed investments in US companies in the hydroelectric power sector.
  • Representing a leading technology company before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States regarding the sale of its water business.

Water Quality

  • Negotiating and overseeing implementation of a settlement of Clean Water Act liability at several well pad sites on behalf of a leading oil and gas company.
  • Advising a manufacturer of water treatment chemicals and facilities on the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Representing an oil and gas company in avoiding suspension or debarment from government contracting in connection with a criminal plea under the Clean Water Act.
  • Negotiating a multi-party settlement on behalf of a publicly controversial waste management facility to address potential water supply impacts and resolve liability under state environmental law.
  • Representing a state agency in a series of proceedings before a state utility board regarding an application to relicense a controversial nuclear energy facility, including analyzing and advising on potential impacts to water quality.
  • Providing counseling and litigation to a large defense contractor on environmental legal and compliance matters, including Clean Water Act issues, resolution of a contaminated property cost recovery claim, and evaluation of a potential cost recovery case.
  • Representing an international oil and gas company in litigation regarding the remediation of chemical dumping at a New Jersey river, one of the largest cleanups in the United States.