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The relationship between the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and common law water rights is ripe for conflict. But, there are paths Groundwater Sustainability Agencies can take to minimize legal risks and move forward, according to Best Best & Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner and his co-authors in “The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the Common Law of Groundwater Rights — Finding a Consistent Path Forward for Groundwater Allocation,” published this month by the University of California, Los Angeles Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.
The article examines common law water rights priorities, and discusses where there is flexibility for finding solutions to meet SGMA’s goal of sustainable groundwater management. It recommends measures GSAs can take to reduce litigation risk and enhance the durability of their groundwater sustainability plans.
Eric is joined by co-authors: Environmental Defense Fund California Groundwater Program Senior Manager Christina Babbitt, O’Melveny & Myers LLP Counsel Russ McGlothlin, University of Virginia School of Law Professor and Associate Director of UVA’s Environmental Resilience Institute Leon Szeptycki and O’Laughlin & Paris LLP Partner Valerie Kincaid.

The authors will discuss the article during a webinar Oct. 20: Navigating SGMA Groundwater Allocations & Minimizing Legal Risk.

Additional Reading
How Groundwater Managers Can Avoid the Courts as They Divvy Up Water, EDF Growing Returns Blog.

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