Water Supply

Latham advises US and global clients on the regulatory, transactional, and legal issues that arise in the process of securing adequate water supplies and associated water rights.

Why Latham

Securing Critical Water Resources

Latham helps clients secure water supplies in response to population growth, evolving public health and environmental priorities, aging infrastructure, increasing industrial demand for high-quality water, the water demands of the energy sector, and global shifts in the hydrologic cycle. As a global leader in environmental law, Latham leverages market-leading regulatory, transactional, and litigation experience to advise financial institutions, private lenders, developers, water suppliers, public and private utilities, states, as well as local and regional agencies.

Specifically, Latham guides clients through:

  • Water rights adjudications and negotiations
  • Water leases and transfers
  • New water infrastructure
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Securing water supplies for new development and power plants
  • Water rights advice to support major financings and transactions
  • Federal and state rulemakings
Supplying Insight

Latham leverages a broad base of experience and multidisciplinary knowledge of overlapping federal, state, and regional/local regulations applicable to water resources, and a thorough understanding of the macro forces shaping 21st century water supply needs in the US and abroad, including hydrology in a changing global climate.

Latham’s practice includes former regulators, government officials, and hydrologists who leverage their insight to advocate on behalf of clients for legislative and administrative resolutions that facilitate project approvals, permitting, or other regulatory action. Latham lawyers coordinate closely with leading hydrologists, climatologists, and water resource engineers to use cutting-edge science to support advocacy for clients.

A Stream of Success

Drawing on the combined strength of the firm’s environmental and litigation practices, Latham has successfully handled some of the most complex, high-stakes projects, transactions, and litigation across all types of water rights. Representative matters include:

  • Represented a state in US Supreme Court original action involving the equitable apportionment of a major river system
  • Secured financing and all required land use and environmental approvals for largest desalination plant in the Western hemisphere
  • Represented the largest wholesale water supplier in the US in securing critical sources of water throughout the southwestern US, including obtaining approvals for a major water supply tunnel project
  • Represented one of the country’s largest water districts in litigation that resolved longstanding challenges to pump taxes and governance of aquifer replenishments programs — an issue of state and national importance
  • Pursued environmental clearances for an innovative and water-efficient groundwater pumping and transfer project in the high desert of Southern California that simultaneously prevents groundwater waste and increases the region’s water supply
  • Counseled a national beverage association on riparian water rights and public trust issues associated with groundwater withdrawals for bottled water in several northeastern states

Our Experience

The firm's lawyers are described as “exceptionally smart, experienced, hard-working and responsive, with good instincts and great working relationships with government leaders and staffers.”

Sources further value the firm for its “deep, relevant experience.”

Chambers USA 2017


Latham Releases Book of Jargon® – Environmental, Social & GovernanceFirm Joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Thought Leadership

A Dry 2021 in California Prompts Water Conservation ResponseFederal Court Denies Nationwide Stay of Navigable Waters Protection RuleChina Faces Serious Water Supply Problems

Webcasts & Podcasts

Water Management in Oil and Gas Production: Market Drivers and Legal Issues