American University, JD

Colgate University, BA

Valerie C. Kincaid


VALERIE C. KINCAID is a partner at the firm of O’Laughlin & Paris LLP, whose practice focuses on water law, including water rights, water transfers, and water quality issues.  She also handles environmental law issues related to the use of water resources, including state and federal endangered species law, habitat conservation planning, public trust issues, and state and federal environmental regulations.  Ms. Kincaid represents various public irrigation districts, water districts, and water authorities in the areas of permitting, enforcement, and regulatory matters at both the administrative and judicial levels.  Prior to specializing in California water law, Ms. Kincaid specialized in mortgage derivative securities while practicing in Washington, D.C.


Ms. Kincaid is a graduate of Colgate University, in Hamilton, New York, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology. She obtained her Juris Doctor from the American University School of Law, Washington, D.C. in 2002.  Ms. Kincaid is a member of the California State Bar and the Sacramento Bar Association.


Ms. Kincaid regularly speaks on the topic of water rights and water resources, including Water Rights Enforcement Proceedings Before the State Water Board, 2009 ACWA Conference, Regulations Affecting the Use of Water in California, 2011 AEP Annual State Conference, and Water District Practice, 2012 Water Education Foundation Water 101-The Basics and Beyond.


  • Represent water districts in California on management of water rights, water transfers, change petitions, and protection against infringing water applications.

  • Represent water authority with 32 water district members in the southern Delta responsible for the operation and maintenance of Central Valley Project facilities for the Bureau of Reclamation, including counsel on California water law and federal reclamation law.

  • Provide private mining client advice and counsel regarding overlying groundwater rights.

  • Defend private water utility in an enforcement action for alleged violations of groundwater pumping.

  • Represent California’s largest private water utility in a cease and desist action in front of the State Water Resources Control Board.

  • Represent water district in action against private parties diverting water without a valid basis of right.

  • Counsel water districts, water authorities and private land owners on compliance with waste discharge requirements, National Pollution Discharge Eliminating System (NPDES) requirements, the Clean Water Act, and California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.

  • Represent water utility in adjudication involving allegations of public trust doctrine violations.

  • Represent water authority regarding due process requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board.

  • Represent public water districts and private parties regarding incidental take permits, biological opinions, and habitat conservations plans, including section 7 consultations.

  • Provide guidance to private developers on requirement and performance of water availability analysis.

  • Provide counsel to water utilities and water districts regarding the use and development of Urban Water Management Plans.