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Author Archives: Brownstein Water Group

Firm News

Upcoming Speaking Engagements – May & June

May 18, 2017

Brad Herrema will be moderating a panel on Conjunctive Use of Surface Water and Groundwater at American Groundwater Trust’s Annual California Groundwater Law Conference in San Francisco.

Bradley Herrema












May 19, 2017

Amy Steinfeld will be speaking on water and development at the 2017 4th Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference—”Delivering Sustainability: a new era in resource efficiency” in Santa Barbara, CA.

Amy Steinfeld












June 8, 2017

Scott Slater will be a panelist addressing Innovations in Technology and Strategic Partnerships that Further Water Self-Sufficiency at Law Seminars International’s Developing Water Resources in Southern California seminar in Los Angeles, CA.

Scott Slater












June 12-13, 2017

Amy Steinfeld will be speaking at Argent’s California Law & Policy Conference on how climate change is impacting California’s water supplies and how leaders are preparing for more drought-to-deluge cycles.

Amy Steinfeld











Firm News

Amy Steinfeld Named One of Pacific Coast Business Times’ Top 50 Women in Business

Pacific Coast Business Times has named Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck‘s Amy Steinfeld as one of its 2017 Top 50 Women in Business honorees and Editor’s Choice in the Professional Services category. This award recognizes outstanding female business leaders in the Tri-Counties.

“Amy’s deep understanding of environmental issues, her practical approach to the law, and her ability to collaborate with local governments enable her to efficiently move projects forward and garner successful results for her clients,” said Steve Amerikaner, the Santa Barbara Office Managing Partner.

Amy, a shareholder in the Santa Barbara Office, regularly advises water districts, regulated utilities, cities, developers, and agricultural interests in all aspects of water law. Her practice focuses on the intersection of land use and water law, enabling her to advance and defend complex projects throughout the state. She has expertise in water rights permitting and due diligence, CEQA compliance, complex groundwater adjudications, water transfers, urban water management planning, water supply evaluations, Endangered Species Act compliance, and all other matters associated with the use, conveyance, development and management of surface and groundwater supplies and infrastructure.

In January 2017, Amy co-convened a historic meeting of 100 of California’s top female water leaders in Santa Barbara. This first-ever California H2O Women Conference brought together prominent professional women representing all sectors of the industry to discuss California’s water supply, including the future of imported water, the duty to invest in water infrastructure for future generations, implementation of sustainable groundwater management, and the role of communication in advancing water policy.

Click here for the Pacific Coast Business Times’ feature on Amy.



Agua Caliente Indians Win Federal Appeal; Tribal Groundwater Rights Based on Purpose of Water Use at the Time Reservation Created

Author: Adrian LeCesne Editor: Michael Fife The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a decision affirming the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ (the “Tribe”) right to groundwater in the Coachella Valley. The court found that the Tribe holds a federal “reserved right” to groundwater based on the intended agrarian purposes of the reservation … Continue Reading »


As Newcomers to the Industrial Storm Water Permit, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries Have Options to Comply

Author: Ryan Waterman Author: Dylan Johnson The statewide Industrial Storm Water permit (Industrial Permit) provides federal Clean Water Act permit coverage for a host of different industries, including wineries, breweries, and distilleries (alcoholic beverage producers) when producing alcohol is the primary business. As relative newcomers to the Industrial Permit, alcoholic beverage producers have options to comply. In 2014, … Continue Reading »

Groundwater Series

UPDATE – Five Things to Know About the State Water Resources Control Board’s Draft Climate Change Resolution

Author: Christopher Guillen Editor: Bradley Herrema Editor: Amy Steinfeld UPDATE On March 7, 2017, the State Board adopted a revised version of the draft climate change resolution.  While substantially similar to the draft, the final resolution further emphasizes the State Board’s commitment to addressing climate change.  For example, the final resolution adds a clause noting … Continue Reading »


Women Water Leaders from Around the State Gather in Santa Barbara to Discuss California’s Pressing Water Supply Issues

                        Authors: Stephanie Hastings and Amy Steinfeld On Jan. 27, 2017, Santa Barbara-based water attorneys Stephanie Hastings and Amy Steinfeld with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP convened a historic meeting of nearly 100 of California’s top women in the water industry. This first-ever “California … Continue Reading »


Five Things to Know About the State Water Resources Control Board’s Draft Climate Change Resolution

                  Author: Christopher Guillen Editors: Amy Steinfeld and Bradley Herrema News of the damaged spillways at Oroville Dam and corresponding evacuations seemed to coincide perfectly with the State Water Resources Control Board’s (“State Board”) announcement of its draft resolution on climate change. While California was busy avoiding a catastrophic flood, … Continue Reading »


California’s Precedent-Setting Legislation Recognizing Human Right to Water in Action

                    Author: Christopher Guillen Editor: Bradley Herrema   On Feb. 14, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) announced the launch of the “Human Right to Water Portal.” The portal is a website that posts information on public water systems’ compliance with drinking water … Continue Reading »


CEQA News You Can Use Vol. 1, Issue 2

Welcome to CEQA News You Can Use, a quarterly publication of our Natural Resources Lawyers. This publication is intended to provide quick, useful bites of CEQA news that we hope can be a resource for your real-time business decisions. That said, it is not and cannot be construed to be legal advice. Please click here … Continue Reading »


Discharge Permits Not Required to Transfer Water: Court Upholds EPA Rule

                        Authors: Rhonda L. Sandquist, Michael P. Smith, Christine Jochim   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued a long-awaited ruling confirming the legality of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Water Transfers Rule in Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. … Continue Reading »