Brown Bag Seminar:

Webinar: Environmental Plaintiffs Pursue Statewide Groundwater Regulations Under Public Trust Doctrine

Event Information


Friday, March 18, 2011


12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


Attendees can attend via webinar or in person at:

400 Capitol Mall, 27th Floor
Sacramento, CA

MCLE Credit:

1 Hour

Sponsored By:

Natural Resources Subsection of the State Bar Association's Real Property Section.


Event participants will learn about pending efforts to impose statewide regulation of groundwater pumping rights based on the common-law Public Trust Doctrine. Currently, state statutory law empowers the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to administer a permitting and licensing program that directly regulates most rights to use surface water diverted from streams, rivers and lakes to serve cities, farms and other uses. Neither that program nor any other statewide program regulates rights to pump and use groundwater--one of California`s largest sources of water supply. Although 2009 state legislation requires development of local programs to monitor and report groundwater conditions to the state, legislative efforts to impose statewide regulation of groundwater have not succeeded. In response, environmental groups are prosecuting state court litigation seeking to establish the state`s power to regulate groundwater rights pursuant to the common-law Public Trust Doctrine. Learn about the legal and policy implications of this litigation, the procedural status of the case, and potential next steps as the litigation unfolds.


Eric N. Robinson, Moderator, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

Jennifer Maier, Environmental Law Foundation

Damien Schiff, Pacific Legal Foundation


To sign up for the webinar, please visit the State Bar's website

To sign up to attend in person, please email Kristy Garza