Agency Relations

State and federal government agencies play an incredibly significant role in Western water, environmental, and natural resource management issues.  Understanding the widely varying missions, authorities, and motivations of the myriad agencies involved in the management, program funding, and regulation of matters relating to rivers and streams, groundwater, public lands, minerals and mining, natural resource management, species protection, and other government functions is critical to the success of industrial, municipal, and non-profit organizations alike. Just as important is the ability to work effectively with agency personnel and management to resolve conflict, identify creative solutions, and address the intersecting needs of the private sector as well as local, state, and federal governments.

Our team brings decades of experience both working within and collaborating closely with a broad range of federal, state and local government agencies, including the Department of the Interior and its various bureaus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of State, state departments of environmental quality and public health, state engineers and water resource agencies, regional water management agencies, and municipal water providers, irrigation districts, and special taxing districts, among others. We represent clients both in their capacity as stakeholders affected by or seeking to influence various general agency actions, rulemakings, policy discussions, and initiatives, and as applicants, permittees, or respondents in agency permitting, compliance and enforcement actions.

Representative Experience

  • Participate in state and federal rulemakings on water, natural resource, and environmental issues on behalf of trade associations, non-profit organizations, and individual stakeholders;
  • Work with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and various state agencies and water providers to develop major elements of the Colorado River Basin study, a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder study of water supply, water demand, and water risk on the Colorado River;
  • Work with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to develop alternatives in the draft and final Environmental Impact Statements for the 2007 Colorado River Shortage Guidelines, and develop associated policy proposals for Colorado River management that were incorporated into the preferred alternative and final Record of Decision; 
  • Work with major U.S. water agencies to develop and implement a pilot “system conservation” program to protect water reservoirs through cooperative agreements to conserve water on the Colorado River;
  • Work with the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Department of Interior, state water agencies and major water providers, and other federal and state agencies on the development of four international agreements between the United States and Mexico;
  • Work with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, other major stakeholders, and the University of Arizona to develop a comprehensive water supply and demand model for Central Arizona;
  • Facilitating initial water settlement conversations among local stakeholders and federal and state agencies;
  • Representing municipalities in development and implementation of policies and projects for water wheeling, water exchanges, and water risk management on the Central Arizona Project, working with the United States Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Department of Water Resources, and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District;
  • Work with state land departments in eleven Western states on projects to improve organizational capacity, assess management outcomes, and develop new tools for the planning, administration and management of state trust lands; and
  • Representing municipalities, municipal organizations, and non-profit organizations on various environmental, water, and fiscal issues at the Arizona state legislature, the Texas state legislature, and the Nevada legislature.