Splitting California in Three Risks “Endless Water Wars,” O’Melveny Lawyers Warn in LA Times Op-Ed

June 21, 2018

O’Melveny of counsel Buzz Thompson, partner Matt Kline, and associate Heather Welles authored an op-ed in the June 21, 2018, edition of the Los Angeles Times. In the piece, “A Vote for Three Californias is a Vote for Endless Water Wars,” the lawyers wrote that a proposition facing California voters this fall to split the state into three poses serious legal and regulatory implications for water. 

The authors contended that if the proposition were to pass, it would set California up for the worst battle yet in what they describe as “our already contentious water history.” While it is too late to fix past mistakes, they wrote, “we can avoid drawing new political boundaries that will saddle future generations with even worse water wars.”

In addition to serving as a member of O’Melveny’s Water Industry Practice Group, Thompson is the Robert E. Paradise Professor of Natural Resources Law at Stanford Law School, the Perry L. McCarty Director and Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, and Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. Head of the firm’s Water group, Kline is a nationally recognized lawyer with a broad litigation practice who also advises on public policy matters. He also serves as a lecturer, co-teaching a “Business of Water” class at Stanford University. Welles represents clients in complex litigation and transactions and provides regulatory and strategic advice, with a particular focus on water, land use, and public policy issues.