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“We had land that could store surface water underneath it and supply it to others in times of need, but sometimes the laws of supply and demand get muddied by politics. Churchwell White helped produce a solution that benefited not just us, but the agricultural region at large.” –Private landowner, Central Valley, California

Opportunity

The client had a large landholding zoned for agricultural production that was also ideally suited for the storage and transportation of surface water. Developing the property to store excess rainfall for use during dry years had tremendous value for the client and California’s regional water supply.

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Challenge

Fearful of losing other agricultural lands, neighboring landowners and farmers were opposed to this project. The client also faced significant state and federal regulatory hurdles, which included concerns over endangered species’ wetlands, water right use restrictions and local zoning challenges.

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Solution

Churchwell White partner Barbara Brenner was able to handle the project single-handedly, which saved the client money and produced a creative, holistic positive solution. She developed a conjunctive use program that was supported by private interests and public water purveyors who desperately need water during dry years. Engagement of the public sector at the local, state and federal level led to a decrease in local opposition and an ability to work through all of the regulatory challenges.

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Benefit

The client was able to present a shovel-ready and profitable water project to various funding sources, increase regional water supply opportunities and develop a more reliable local water resource without the need to engage an entire team of lawyers.