Understanding and protecting water resources is critical, particularly in the western United States. Our Water Law Group works with clients to acquire, protect, perfect, move, sell, and evaluate water rights.  These sometimes complex undertakings involves advancing legislative interests, responding to regulatory initiatives, and otherwise protecting clients in connection with water resource issues.  In so doing, we routinely assist clients with the transfer of water rights as part of real estate transactions, critically review comprehensive water system plans, and evaluate the extent and validity of clients’ water rights.

OMW understands the Washington and federal laws that impact water issues, enabling the firm to effectively serve our clients’ needs and further their interests. We represent a diverse spectrum of private and public clients with water resource related issues.  Often, we work closely with hydrologists, engineers, water quality specialists, geologists and other professionals whose assistance can be crucial to the successful resolution of legal matters involving water issues.  Another important aspect of our Water Practice Group is its ability to utilize members of OMW’s Land Use and Real Estate, Environmental and Natural Resources, Tribal, and Municipal Practice Groups. Recognizing the competing interests and developing relationships and common understandings among those interests are frequent elements in furthering our clients objectives.

While our philosophy is that litigation should be used as a last resort, sometimes litigating water issues is necessary and unavoidable. OMW has reviewed complex water right portfolios, moved water all around Eastern Washington, appealed several Ecology determinations, favorably resolved litigation, and advanced creative solutions.  It is a dynamic and challenging area of the law.