Replay available from our video archive

The 32nd Annual Conference on Critical Developments for

Water Law in Washington

Hear the current most pressing developments in Washington water rights and resource management from an exceptional faculty

Presented on June 7 & 8, 2023

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, environmental and land use professionals, local government and Tribal representatives, planners, ports, public utility districts, landowners, water users, and other stakeholders

Why You will Benefit from the Replay

Water law and policy in Washington State continues to evolve in response to population growth and economic development. At the same time, climate change and land use have resulted in increased pressure on surface and groundwater resources. And, our state is about to embark on yet another comprehensive water rights adjudication in the Nooksack Basin.

This year's seminar will continue our focus on recent changes and hot topics in Washington water law. The program will start with a refresher on the fundamentals of the Water Code, cover Ecology's latest work on the Municipal Water Law Interpretive Policy Statement, and examine the latest implementation actions associated with streamflow restoration and planning under Chapter 90.94 RCW. A seasoned faculty will address recurring topics such as relinquishment of water rights and the applicability of exemptions, legal and technical tips for preparing successful water right change applications, insights regarding Water Code enforcement, and the role of Washington Tribes as co-managers of our water resources.

Water law practitioners will not want to miss the practice tips panel, brought to you by the Honorable Neil Wise from the Pollution Control Hearings Board. The annual Case Law Update and 2023 Legislative Session Summary will also be of interest to anyone who tracks or is engaged in water resources litigation and water policy development in Washington. We will also hear from former Washington State Supreme Court Justice Philip Talmadge on the topic of ethical issues in appellate litigation and brief writing.

We hope you'll join us for what promises to be a timely and informative program. Register now!

~ Joseph A. Brogan, Esq. of Foster Garvey and Matt Janz, Esq. of Washington Attorney General's Office, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • The interplay between water rights and needs for reallocation and environmental protections
  • Ecology's Municipal Water Law Interpretive and Policy Statement (Policy 2030)
  • Ecology's 2022 Streamflow Restoration Policy and Interpretative Statement (Policy 2094)
  • Rural Subdivisions and the Domestic Uses Exemption in RCW 90.44.050 after Ecology v. Campbell Gwinn
  • Streamflow restoration and watershed planning under RCW 90.94
  • Current water code enforcement priority areas, lessons from recent enforcement actions, and creative settlement approaches
  • Current issues in water right changes and transfers
  • Early Steps for the Nooksack Basin Adjudication
  • Relinquishment and the applicability of exemptions
  • Public water system consolidation
  • 2023 Legislative recap
  • Recent noteworthy judicial and administrative cases
  • The role of Tribes as water resource co-managers
  • Tips for effective participation in PCHB proceedings
  • Legal Ethics

What Participants Said

  • This was very interesting and quite educational. Knowledge gained will be useful as we update the Spokane County Comprehensive Planís Urban Growth Areas.
  • "Fabulous seminar. I greatly appreciate it!"
  • "Excellent and very qualified speakers."
  • I really learned a lot. Iím glad I was given the opportunity to attend. I am positive the things I learned will help me in supporting our attorneys working in water law.
  • Thank you for an informative conference.

Agenda Day 1

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Joseph A. Brogan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

Matt Janz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Assistant Attorney General
Washington Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

9:15 am

The Water Code as the Structural Foundation for Water Rights in Washington

The prior appropriation system and the interplay between water rights and needs for reallocation, pollution control, wildlife protection, recreation, instream flow maintenance, and environmental quality

Jamie M. Morin, Esq.
Confluence Law / Snohomish, WA

10:00 am

Ecology's Municipal Water Law Interpretive and Policy Statement (Policy 2030)

Ecology is updating POL-2030 to incorporate recent case law and water right decisions: Status report on the draft policy and the changes that will be included in the update

Austin Melcher , Environmental Planner
Washington State Department of Ecology / Seattle, WA

10:45 am


11:00 am

Rural Subdivisions and the Domestic Uses Exemption in RCW 90.44.050

Developer and regulatory perspectives on issues resolved and remaining after the appellate court decision in Department of Ecology v. Campbell Gwinn

Joseph A. Brogan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

Matt Janz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Washington Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

12:00 pm

Lunch Break

1:15 pm

Streamflow Restoration and Watershed Planning under RCW 90.94

Case study: Implementation of the Addendum to the Chehalis Watershed Management Plan

Kirsten Harma , Watershed Coordinator
Chehalis Basin Partnership / Oakville, WA

Case study: Implementation of the WRIA 55 (Little Spokane) Watershed Plan Addendum

Amy Sumner , Water Resources Manager
Spokane County / Spokane, WA

Case study: Technical perspective on development & completed mitigation of the WRIA 59 (Colville) Watershed Plan Addendum & Implementation of Water Bank

Eugene N. J. St. Godard, PG LHg CWRE , Principal Hydrogeologist/Owner
Water & Natural Resource Group, Inc. / Spokane, WA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Water Code Enforcement

Current enforcement priority areas, lessons from recent enforcement actions, creative settlement approaches, and tips for responding to "Technical Assistance" letters

Kellie A. Gillingham , Northwest Region Water Master
Washington State Department of Ecology / Bellevue, WA

4:15 pm

Adjudications: Early Steps for the Nooksack Basin

Update on pre-adjudication work in 2023; what to expect moving forward

Robin McPherson, Esq. , Adjudication Manager
Washington State Department of Ecology / Olympia, WA

5:00 pm

Adjourn Day 1

Thursday, June 8, 2023

9:00 am

Water Right Changes and Transfers

Changes in use and other problematic areas; what to expect for challenges; legal and technical tips for preparing successful applications and challenges

Dan Haller , Principal Engineer
Aspect Consulting / Yakima, WA

9:45 am

Relinquishment and the Applicability of Exemptions

Update on Ecology's policy guidance relating to relinquishment, recission, and abandonment of water rights; special issues for water users in basins subject to active or potential adjudication proceedings

Joseph A. Brogan, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Public Water System Consolidation

A good idea, or a strategy for unmitigated instream flow impacts and exceeding municipal water rights?

Sharon I. Haensly, Esq. , Attorney (retired)
Squaxin Island Tribe / Shelton, WA

11:30 am

Case Law Update

Recent noteworthy judicial and administrative cases

Stephen H. North, Esq. , Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 pm

2023 Legislative Session

Recap on bills in the 2023 session and how the political dynamics played out; what to expect in terms of action on issues that were left unresolved

Kathleen Collins , Owner
Capitol Strategies Consulting / Olympia, WA

2:00 pm

Water Resource Management: The Role of Tribes as Co-Managers

Tribal roles in state policies and processes for conducting Tribal consultation

Amelia Marchand , Tribal Climate Liaison
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians / Portland, OR

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Effective Participation in PCHB Proceedings

Tips for avoiding common mistakes, identifying the issues that matter the most, and building a solid record

The Hon. Neil L. Wise, Esq. , Board Member
Pollution Control and Shorelines Hearings Board / Olympia, WA

3:30 pm

Ethical Issues in Appellate Litigation and Brief Writing

Obligations under RPC 3.1/RAP 18.9(a); client explanation of issues on appeal; requirements regarding citing authorities and extra-record material; other problematic issues

Philip A. Talmadge, Esq.
Talmadge/Fitzpatrick / Tukwila, WA

4:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Joseph A. Brogan, Joseph A. Brogan, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Foster Garvey and one of the leading water rights lawyers in Washington state. He provides strategic advice, permitting and litigation support to water purveyors, public utility districts, ports, industry clients and private property owners.

Matt Janz, Matt Janz, Program Co-Chair, is an Assistant Attorney General on the Water Resources Team in the Ecology Section of the Washington Office of the Attorney General. He advises the Washington Department of Ecology on water resource issues, primarily in Eastern Washington.

Kathleen Collins, Kathleen Collins, Owner of Capitol Strategies Consulting, represents local governments on environmental issues. Before founding Capitol Strategies, she lobbied for the Association of Washington Cities.

Kellie A. Gillingham Kellie A. Gillingham is a Water Master who serves the Department of Ecology's Northwest Region. She is a lead investigator of alleged violations of the state's water code.

Sharon Haensly is Sharon Haensly is an on-call employee/attorney with the Squaxin Island Tribe, available for special projects for Squaxin and others (provided no conflict with Squaxin's interests). She previously worked for EPA, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and several law firms' Indian law practices.

Dan Haller Dan Haller is a Principal Engineer at Aspect Consulting focusing on water rights and systems. His background includes management of storage and conservation projects; water banking and water rights transfers; and water system design, planning, and financial planning.

Kirsten Harma Kirsten Harma is the Watershed Coordinator for the Chehalis Basin Partnership, which is the Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery in the Chehalis Basin. Previously, she worked on testing water quality and delineating wetlands in Washington and on monitoring stream health in Costa Rica.

Amelia Marchand Amelia Marchand is the Tribal Climate Liaison for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and as the Environmental Program Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Robin McPherson is the Adjudication Manager for the Department of Ecology. She previously represented the Ecology Water Resources Program as an Assistant Attorney General.

Austin Melcher Austin Melcher is the Municipal Water Law and Legislative Task Force Lead in the Policy Support Section of Ecology's Water Resources Program. He has been at Ecology for four years and has spent the past couple working on updating Ecology's Municipal Water Law policy.

Jamie M. Morin, Jamie M. Morin, Confluence Law, assists clients with the acquisition, transfer, and adjudication of water rights, compliance with public water system regulations, environmental review, and compliance with various state and federal environmental regulations.

Stephen H. North is a managing Assistant Attorney General with the Water Resources Section of the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office. His work includes advising the Water Resources Program on adjudications, administrative instream flow rulemaking, water resources legislation, changes and transfers of water rights, municipal water rights, permit exempt wells, relinquishment of water rights, trust water rights, and enforcement issues, among others.

Eugene N. J. St. Godard, PG LHg CWRE, Eugene N. J. St. Godard, PG LHg CWRE, is the Principal Hydrogeologist and Owner of Water & Natural Resource Group, Inc. He has been working on hydrogeological issues and watershed planning in WRIA 59 (Colville River) for 20-years, including the development and implementation of the RCW 90.94 Watershed Plan Addendum, and the development of the Stevens County Water Bank.

Amy Sumner Amy Sumner is the Water Resources Manager for Spokane County. She is responsible for the implementation of WRIA 55/Little Spokane River Watershed Plan Addendum prepared under RCW 90.94. As a Project Manager, she also was involved in the WRIA 55 planning efforts and data collection for assessing current watershed conditions.

Philip A. Talmadge, Philip A. Talmadge, Talmadge/Fitzpatrick, served in the Washington State Senate from 1979 to 1995 and on the Washington Supreme Court from 1995 to 2001. He has taught appellate advocacy at Seattle University and the University of Washington Law Schools.

The Hon. Neil L. Wise The Hon. Neil L. Wise is a member of the Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shorelines Hearings Board. Prior to his appointment to the Boards, he was a Senior Counsel at the Washington Attorney General's Office, where he represented the Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources, and the Forest Practices Board.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 11.75 (1 Ethics included) Washington MCLE, 11.75 AICP land use planner, and 11.75 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

I appreciate LSI's seamless segue from registration, an informative seminar, to end result.