The firm’s water law section works to solve the water rights and water-related environmental challenges of our clients. We seek first to understand our clients’ objectives and then formulate and deliver solutions.
We assist in acquiring, selling, utilizing, maximizing, and protecting water rights. Capitalizing on John Mabey’s past experience of representing the Division of Water Rights and the State Engineer’s Office, one of our strengths is on matters before the Utah State Engineer, including:
- Change Application preparation, filing, response to protests, hearings, and judicial reviews;
- General Adjudication proceedings, preparing Water Users Claims, reviewing Proposed Determinations, filing and prosecuting Objections, and obtaining intermediate relief before the court during the pendency of these long-term litigation proceedings;
- Due diligence review of water rights in purchase transactions and to insure that State Engineer water rights policies permit the use or transfer of a water right by change application;
- Defense of Water Rights Enforcement Actions brought by the Division of Water Rights;
- Water Rights Litigation, including challenging or defending State Engineer water rights decisions, prosecuting or defending water rights forfeiture actions, water rights interference claims, quiet title to water rights, title insurance company defense, and general adjudication proceedings.
Environmental Water-Related Matters and Natural Resources
We also handle environmental and natural resource issues affecting our clients. These matters range from obtaining a 404 wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to advice concerning the Federal Endangered Species Act. We have experience preparing and defending environmental compliance documents under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act.
We assist clients in these areas to obtain approval for their projects and defend permitted projects before state and federal regulatory agencies and in litigation. We have worked extensively with the Utah State Engineer, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
We work with Utah State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality and Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands.
We serve as water counsel to cities, water conservancy districts, local districts, power companies, mining and energy companies, developers and various industrial and business interests. We also serve as general counsel to numerous irrigation and water companies across the State of Utah.