Water Transfers

Water transfers are highly complex and multi-faceted transactions that involve a specialized knowledge of water rights, regulatory mechanisms, real property transactions, and sophisticated negotiation.  As the population of California grows, our finite water system must be optimized to meet growing demands. Water users and ecosystem needs will increasingly rely upon water transfers to resolve water shortages and ensure reliable water supplies.  O’Laughlin & Paris LLP has the legal expertise, negotiation experience and relationships with technical experts necessary to effectuate successful and mutually beneficial water transfers.


  • Negotiate water transfer between public agency irrigation districts and the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

  • Draft letter agreements, wheeling agreements, transfer and finance agreements in support of multi-million dollar water transfer.

  • Counsel joint point authority on multi-year water transfer.

  • Petition and obtain State Water Resources Control Board approval for temporary and long-term water transfers.

  • Counsel public agencies on potential transfer to large municipal and industrial water user outside the basin.