• Posts by Alfred E. Smith II
    Partner

    Alfred Smith, Chair of Nossaman's Water Group, is a recognized expert in water, environmental, transportation and public agency law. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he has successfully litigated multiple water right ...

Posted in Events
Happy Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

During this 4th annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week, Nossaman would like to acknowledge all of California’s essential water sector professionals. Not just this week, but every week of the year, they work on the front lines to provide this essential resource to all of our communities and serve as stewards for the environment.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was created in 2017 to highlight the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable tap water, wastewater and recycled water for California. Now ...

New Lawsuit Tests Application of Public Trust Doctrine to Groundwater, Well Permits and SGMA

On June 23rd, California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) filed the lawsuit California Coastkeeper Alliance v. County of Sonoma (Case No. SCV-268718) in Sonoma County Superior Court. According to CCKA’s website, the suit was filed “to compel the County of Sonoma to consider and mitigate impacts to public trust resources caused by unregulated and wasteful groundwater pumping in the Russian River watershed.” The organization went on to state, “This is an important move during this historic drought to protect salmon populations that are already at risk of extinction, and to ...

Latest Milestone on the SGMA Timeline

As the clock slowly ticks forward on California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) deadlines, earlier this month, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued its first assessments of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). Two groundwater sustainability agencies’ (GSAs) plans were approved:  Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin in Santa Cruz County and 180/400 Foot Aquifer Subbasin in Monterey County. GSPs from the Cuyama Valley Basin and Paso Robles Subbasin were deemed to “lack specific details” and were not approved.

According to the DWR’s ...

Update on Executive Order N-29-20

Unbelievably, it was March 17, 2020 when Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending Executive Order N-25-20 in part) as part of a series of emergency measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  EO N-29-20 allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically without violating the open meeting laws found in the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act. This order waived certain provisions of the Brown Act, including requirements that meetings be conducted in physical locations; that a majority ...

Draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020 Released by the Department of Water Resources

Earlier this month, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020. According to DWR’s website:

“This version of California’s Groundwater provides a comprehensive look at statewide groundwater activities, compiling technical information and data from 2003 to 2020. This bulletin recognizes the historic passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 and builds a statewide framework to share new information and progress made by locals who are managing groundwater basins across the state. It ...

Many Opposing Views on California’s New Water Futures Market

As of December 7, 2020, water has been included as a traded commodity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“the Merc”). According to a recent Chicago magazine article, “Now cities and farmers can buy futures in California’s water, meaning they can hedge against (or bet on) rising water prices out west, based on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index [ticker symbol: NQH2O], which tracks the current market price of the five largest water supplies in the state…So far, only the Golden State’s water supply is being traded; it’s sort of a test run.”

Some see this move at the ...

Happy Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

California’s fourth annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week kicks off on October 3rd, highlighting the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater and recycled water operations in California. Now more than ever, we appreciate the dedication of our highly trained operators, technicians and other specialists in the water sector.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was established in 2017 by Senate Concurrent Resolution 80, by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). Recent labor studies estimate ...

Nossaman is a proud supporter of the American Water Works Association's Water For People Virtual Gala & Auction. The event will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. PT. Virtual doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT. In partnership with Pacific Auction Company, the Water for People California Committees are excited to hold their first Virtual Gala & Auction. You can RSVP for the event here.

The live auction will feature fabulous local getaways, specialty wine, and other great surprises! Attendance is free, though you must register to participate! Breakout afterparty rooms will follow the gala event. There is also a Silent Auction open from September 25 to October 1. Net proceeds of this event benefit Water For People’s mission in promoting the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all. Water for People is a 501(c)(3) organization. For additional information please visit waterforpeople.org

Executive Order N-29-20 Authorizing Public Meetings Entirely by Teleconference or Other Electronic Means

On March 17, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending Executive Order N-25-20 in part), which allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically without violating the open meeting laws found in the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act.

The new Order states ...

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Suspending Certain Brown Act Rules

Today, in light of public health concerns due to COVID-19, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order suspending certain Brown Act rules.  Among other items, the Order allows local and state legislative bodies to hold public meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically. 

The Order provides:  “All requirements in both the Bagley-Keene Act and the Brown Act expressly or impliedly requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the body, or of the public as a condition of participation in a quorum for a public meeting are hereby ...

EPA Report:  Coronavirus & Drinking Water and Wastewater

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released guidance on the coronavirus and the U.S. drinking and wastewater systems.  According to the EPA, “Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”  The EPA also continues coordinating with federal partners ...

California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers.  We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.

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