Water Management

One of the domains and matters in which the firm has been most greatly involved in terms of the number of cases is precisely that of water rights.

Regarding this branch of the law, we advise on all matters related to the integral water cycle, of particular importance for the operation of both public and private activity.

Firstly, in matters of hydrological planning, we advise both public administrations and private parties regarding the various steps involved in securing the approval and/or revision of hydrological plans for water basins and related planning issues, including the public consultation phase between Administrations and water users, and the monitoring of hydrological planning.

Second, we advise on the administrative processing of water concessions for different uses (industrial and electric power production, drinking water, agricultural and golf course irrigation, desalination and reuse of water, declaration of mineral waters and authorization of their use), as well as in case work involving the enforcement of ecological flow regulations or the obligation to install fish ladders and/or flow limiting modules. Finally, in the context of climate change, we ensure that the impact of drought on user rights is as low as possible.

We also provide guidance on waste water discharges, both for industrial waste and for public management of urban water sanitation, as well as for all the case work related to protection regulations for the public water domain (building permits in the areas under policing, flood zones, urban planning).

In all cases, our firm acts to defend our clients’ interests in the case of disciplinary or criminal proceedings for ecological crimes, as well as in matters of taxation related to water use.

• Advice on hydrological planning, both in the elaboration of hydrological demarcation plans and plans derived therefrom.
• Monitoring of hydrological planning.
• Administrative case work to obtain concessions for surface water, groundwater and water from sewage treatment plants for different uses (especially industrial use and the production of electrical energy).
• Administrative case work involving the modification and revision of concessional characteristics.
• Desalination and reuse.
• Administrative case work involving the declaration and exploitation of mineral waters.
• Administrative case work involving the granting of authorizations for wastewater discharge and establishment of waste disposal firms.
• Legal assistance in demarcation case work involving the public hydraulic domain.
• Drafting of the ordinances for the supply of drinking water and sewage sanitation.
• Administrative case work involving ecological flows, fish ladders, and flow-limiting modules.
• Administrative case work involving sanctions of any kind; for example, for breach of concession titles or authorizations (exceeding the maximum concessional flow, fluvial continuity flow, terms conditioning wastewater discharges, etc.).
• Mandated restoration of the environment and compensation for damages caused to the public hydraulic domain.
• Guidance for communities of public water users and irrigation communities.
• Taxes: water fee, water utilization fee, regulation fee and previously, hydraulic infrastructure fee, body of law governing state hydroelectric basins and sanitation.
• Guidance in the preparation, development and execution of plans and programs involving hydraulic works.
• Administrative case work for authorization and legalization of works in publicly monitored and controlled hydraulic domains.
• Compensation for damages in flood areas.
• Advice to private and public suppliers of water (establishment and dissolution).
• Legal defense in criminal proceedings regarding ecological crimes due to wastewater discharges.