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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Groundwater Series

Information is Power: What do the State’s New Water Reporting Requirements Mean for You?

The ongoing drought has highlighted this commonly accepted maxim: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” In response, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) has adopted new measuring and reporting requirements for surface water right holders in California. The emergency regulations implement a major component of Senate Bill 88, the drought trailer bill … Continue Reading »


Industrial Storm Water Permittees Face New Challenge—TMDLs

When the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted the Industrial General Storm Water Permit in 2014 (the “IGP”), the State Board reserved for a later day how to incorporate Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”)-specific requirements for watersheds around the state into the IGP. Specifically, the State Board set July 1, 2016, as the … Continue Reading »

Firm News

Brownstein’s Chris Frahm, Wins Big Verdict in California’s Ongoing Water Wars

Brownstein shareholder Chris Frahm, the San Diego County Water Authority’s (“Water Authority”) special counsel on its Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Program, supported San Francisco-based litigation counsel to successfully challenge MWD’s rates based on an Exchange Agreement between the Water Authority and MWD. The Agreement, which was also negotiated by Brownstein’s Water Group, required the giant regional wholesale agency to set “lawful rates” for wheeling the Water Authority’s independent Colorado River water supplies. The Water Authority challenged the MWD based on California statutory law and Proposition 26; after a three-week bench trial over the course of several months, the court ruled that MWD’s rates were illegal and awarded the Water Authority $188 million in contract damages and $43 million in prejudgment interest. The decision in favor of the Water Authority was the largest plaintiff’s award in California in 2015.

Read the Daily Journal’s coverage of this significant win by clicking the title above.