The water utilities industry continues to grapple with aging distribution systems and equipment, expanding regulation, demands for increased storage and sustainability and the need for more capital. Working closely with colleagues in our corporate, government relations, environmental and natural resources practices, we counsel water utilities, municipalities and private water companies on regulatory and transactional matters, as well as business operations.
Representing investor-owned, developer-owned and municipal utilities in negotiating and drafting water and waste-water infrastructure agreements, we bring an understanding of both sides of such negotiations to bear for every client we represent.
Our attorneys have formed and obtained regulatory operating authority for dozens of new private water companies. In addition, we currently support the largest water improvement district in Arizona which is aggressively expanding operations through annexation and the purchase of existing private water utility assets.
Our services include:
- Applications for Certificates of Convenience & Necessity
- Environmental compliance
- Negotiation of main extension agreements for new subdivisions
- Formation of Special districts
- Power acquisition strategies
- Purchase and sale of water utility assets
- Rate case filings before state commissions and commercial contract negotiations
- Counsel to the Organizing Committee of the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, a successful customer-managed effort to purchase and manage a formerly private water utility that now serves more than 80,000 people in Northwest Tucson.
- Counsel to private water utilities in connection with obtaining permits to drill new wells to serve an expanding customer base.
- Counsel for water utility clients seeking to establish, protect and defend their water rights, whether they arise under a state's groundwater code, or its surface water code.
- Counsel to private water utilities to negotiate agreements to provide water utility services to new service territories, and obtain public utility commission approval for those expansions.
- Counsel to municipal utilities regarding compliance with regulations arising under section 208 of the Clean Water Act, as they are implemented by regional Councils of Government, including the Pima Association of Governments, and the Maricopa Association of Governments.
- Counsel to clients who need to obtain judicial approval of subcontracts for water from the Central Arizona Project, as required by Federal Reclamation Law.
- Counsel to water utilities and developers seeking to obtain “assured water supply” determinations from the Department of Water Resources under Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act of 1980.
- Counsel to developers of master planned communities concerning water resource, water infrastructure, and water utility strategies.
- Counsel for a Colorado water and sanitation district in municipal exclusion proceedings that resulted in a joint operating authority responsible for the district's and the municipality's interconnected water and sewer systems.
- Counsel developers and assist their effort to negotiate utility service agreements, infrastructure agreements and reclaimed water use agreements.