Parsons Behle & Latimer brings decades of in-depth experience when representing clients in water rights and water quality issues


It has been said that water is the lifeblood of the West. The Water Rights, Quality & Infrastructure practice at Parsons Behle & Latimer is focused on protecting and facilitating use of this essential resource. Our attorneys include specialists in water rights, water quality and water infrastructure development and are prepared to represent your interests before state and federal agencies and courts. They are supported by capable paralegals and legal assistants who have extensive experience in water matters.

Our Water practice attorneys support clients in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Washington. The team members have years of experience practicing before administrative agencies in each of these states, including the State Engineer and other state water offices in Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Washington, Division of Water Rights, Division of Water Quality, Public Service Commission and related agencies. Our attorneys also have extensive experience representing clients on water resource matters before state and federal courts.


Key Contacts

View the full team


Smart City Development

Assisting client in development of smart city project by securing water rights, addressing state and federal permitting, rights of way and Tribal concerns.

Water Management

Representing municipal water provider in complex proceedings concerning water management.

Water Treaty Negotiations

Representing client in water treaty negotiations and advocating for client's position with various government entities and stakeholders.


Water Rights

Parsons Behle & Latimer's practice team is committed to helping clients preserve and maximize the beneficial use of their water rights. We assist clients from individual water right owners to large water suppliers with all aspects of managing and developing their water rights. Our work includes appropriating new water rights, changing existing water rights and preparing a variety of other filings on behalf of our clients. The team frequently appears at hearings before the:

  • The Utah Division of Water Rights, Office of the State Engineer
  • The Washington Department of Ecology
  • The Idaho Department of Water Resources
  • The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation and Montana Department of Environmental Quality for Water Quality
  • The Nevada Division of Water Resources, Office of the State Engineer

Parsons' Water team also has extensive experience helping clients navigate the General Adjudication, from filing claims to defending against objections and adverse recommendations. 

The Water practice team has expertise with unique water right issues associated with water suppliers, such as municipalities, water companies, districts and irrigation companies. The team regularly assists clients with due diligence, valuation, drafting agreements and water right applications associated with purchase and sale of water rights either as a standalone asset, or in conjunction with real property. In addition, the team frequently advises lenders regarding how to secure water rights, water shares and water entitlements as collateral.  

Water Infrastructure Development

Parsons Behle & Latimer's team of attorneys advise clients on each phase of the development of new water infrastructure projects, including siting, permitting, financing and construction. The team also advises clients regarding protection, modification and enhancement of existing projects. Whether it is Bureau of Reclamation transferred works, water delivery infrastructure owned by individual water suppliers or hydroelectric projects, Parsons has attorneys ready to assist in virtually every facet of water project development, repair and rehabilitation.

Water Quality

Parsons Behle & Latimer's environmental practice team has extensive experience in water quality permitting, enforcement and regulatory matters throughout the Intermountain West and other areas of the country, serving a diverse clientele that includes major mining and manufacturing companies; a variety of other industries; municipalities; commercial and residential developers; and state and national trade associations.

Our team routinely assists clients in obtaining permits and developing solutions to issues arising under federal Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting programs administered by state agencies and/or the Environmental Protection Agency. We have extensive experience working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of a variety of clients to obtain jurisdictional determinations and, as necessary, permits under the “dredge and fill” permit program for activities in wetlands and other waters. The environmental practice group also has experience with CWA pretreatment matters including those involving Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) and the compliance requirements for indirect dischargers.

We work with clients to evaluate and comply with their obligations under the other state-administered water quality regulatory programs, including ground water permitting, aquifer source protection, underground injection control and other Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. We represent clients and industry coalitions in agency rulemakings for the establishment of water quality standards, with a focus on achieving pragmatic resolutions to regulatory challenges. To that end, we have assisted clients in a variety of jurisdictions with issues such as the development of site-specific standards, assessing the implications of the listing of “impaired waters,” and evaluating the corresponding development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).