Water Resources

"Acts on matters across the full range of environmental law, including air and water compliance and enforcement issues."

Chambers USA 2020

Long before the current drought conditions, Baker Botts lawyers were deeply involved in challenging water issues of all types across varying jurisdictions and river basins. Whether the solutions to a water supply issue or dispute are administrative, legislative or require litigation, we have served our client’s interests through the complexities of water law with strategic planning and a deep understanding of the ever-changing legal and political backdrops.

We have assisted with the water rights permitting process, including developing strong administrative records through contested case hearings for significant water rights and amendments. We have navigated numerous groundwater conservation districts and secured essential permits for significant industrial developments. In addition, we have assisted our clients in evaluating water rights applications filed in their basins and protested water rights to protect our client’s interests. Beyond contested case hearings, Baker Botts lawyers have litigated numerous water-related disputes in state and federal court.

Further, we work with our clients in assessing water supply strategies and projects, particularly in the context of strategic planning. We have assisted with securing legislative changes in support of water supply strategies and commented on administrative rulemakings. When the exigencies of the drought were at their worst, we helped identify and secure important temporary authorizations for industrial facilities. With this broad base of water matters to draw from, Baker Botts lawyers have counseled on numerous water development, purchase, sale and financing transactions.

Water Rights Counseling and Permitting:
Baker Botts lawyers have worked with industrial and water authority clients to assess and address water supply planning and challenges in both the surface water and groundwater contexts. We have permitted major water rights and amendments at the TCEQ and through a variety of groundwater conservation districts. We have worked through expedited processes to identify and implement the regulatory solutions associated with specific projects needed during drought conditions. In addition, we assisted with evaluations of groundwater and surface water resource availability for industrial, power generation and oil and gas developments.

Baker Botts environmental lawyers have assisted numerous public and private clients through every level of water dispute. From local conservation district and state administrative hearings to complex litigation in state and federal court, our water practice lawyers bring experience, strategy and creativity to each water dispute. Whether in the arid West or more temperate East, our lawyers are committed to advancing and defending our clients’ interests in an increasingly scarce and contested resource.

Transactional Counseling:
Baker Botts lawyers have advised on transactions involving equity investments in water infrastructure and the direct development of significant water supply resources. We have represented sellers and purchasers in a broad range of transactions involving surface water, reclaimed water, groundwater and water interests and infrastructure in varying jurisdictions. Further, we advised on the financing of water projects and on appropriate deal structures given the framework of applicable water laws.