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Nossaman LLP

Success Stories

Fighting for Water Rights Before the California Supreme Court

When too many water users drew too much water out of the Mojave River Basin, the court stepped in to determine who had water rights, and how much water each rights holders could take. A private water utility, one of the largest water producers in the area and water retailer for the town of Apple Valley, enlisted our help to affirm their water rights.

With decades of experience in the ‘wild wild west' world of California water conflict, we were able to secure the utility's water rights during a two month trial and then skillfully negotiate through several years of complex, multi-party settlement discussions with dozens of landowners, farmers, cities, and water purveyors.

To our client's delight, we were able to confirm all aspects of our client's water rights, valued at over $50 million. When a few landowners pressed their overlying water rights and appealed the settlement – all the way to the California Supreme Court – our briefs and oral arguments helped convince the appeals court and then the highest court in the state to affirm the utility's water rights negotiated in the settlement.

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