On Demand Audio

Water Quantity and Quality: Law Affecting Water Supply (Update)

(464 reviews)

Produced on April 23, 2018

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Course Information

Time 64 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Water quantity and water quality, once considered separate in the law, are converging. Increasingly, federal and state water policy and regulation intersect with the consideration of endangered species, resulting in complex problems that are not easily addressed, especially through litigation. Viewed in the past as confined to the arid west, these issues now crop up across the country, as seen in several recent water-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, recent cases have addressed whether and how indirect discharges of pollutants through groundwater to navigable waters may be regulated under the Clean Water Act. The policy implications in these disputes are far-ranging and go to the heart of several cornerstone environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and NEPA. The disputes also illustrate the potential conflict between state and federal authority whenever water is considered. Join Kathy Robb, a partner in the New York office of Sive, Paget & Riesel, for a discussion of legal issues surrounding water supply and quality.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the interplay of water quantity and water quality in U.S. law
  2. Grasp the scope and limits of legal responses to water supply issues
  3. Identify cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court on water allocation and regulation
  4. Recognize how the CWA Water Transfers Rule, and the litigation and recent regulatory activity surrounding the 2015 “Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) Rule may affect water supply issues
  5. Examine the extent to which groundwater may be regulated under the Clean Water Act in light of recent cases in the federal circuit and district courts, including Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, et al v. County of Maui

Credit Information

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Kathy Robb

Sive, Paget & Riesel P.C.

Kathy Robb is a Principal in the New York office of Sive, Paget, & Riesel, P.C. She is a nationally-recognized environmental lawyer with extensive litigation, transactional, and regulatory experience

Robb’s practice focuses on litigation in federal district and appellate courts across the country, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. She represents water districts, developers, investors, lenders, industrial companies, and chemical manufacturers, among others, with regard to water rights, endangered species issues, environmental impact reviews, river sites with contaminated sediments, and on large sites with contaminated groundwater. She also works on complex transactions from the bid process through closing and advises clients on corporate structuring to best manage risk.

Robb received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. She then clerked for the Hon. Glen M. Williams, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She writes and lectures widely on environmental issues. Robb serves as president of the Environmental Law Institute‘s Leadership Council in Washington, DC, and is a former ELI Board member. She also serves as vice-president of the Waterfront Alliance in New York; on the Advisory Board of Bloomberg BNA’s Environmental Due Diligence Guide; on the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar Association; and as an Adjunct Professor at Pace Law School. She is designated as a leader in environmental law in Chambers, as a New York Super Lawyer, and as a leading lawyer in International Who’s Who, among other recognitions. In October, Robb was inducted into the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL).


Katherine A.

Very interesting cases and explanations. Would have loved a little more background and bigger picture right up front - to piece the cases and laws into place as we went - but also I have no background in this area and do understand it was not a beginner course. Well done overall ! Thanks!!

Weston W.

Kathy Robb gave a very informative presentation with effective visual aids. Her presentation covered a range of complex cases and issues in ways that were easy to follow.

Karen T.

Great presentation! I enjoyed hearing an update about a topic in which I used to practice.

Daniel O.

Very interesting subject, well presented.

Belinda B.

This was a very detailed course dealing with an area of law that will become even more important in the future.

Elizabeth F.

Superb presentation

Marilee A.

Extremely great review of complicated subject -- with up to date developments. Good course!

Michele K.

Thank you for the presentation

Steven O.

Knowledgeable presenter!

Jamey B.

Good presentation. Linked law to subject regulated.

Viktoria S.


Debra B.

I appreciate how she covered other State laws and issues pertaining to water rights, not just Florida. She even covered a Maui water issue! Enjoyed this.

Steven K.

Very nicely done!


Great program. Would love to see more of these breaking down individual sections of the Clean Water Act as well as other pieces of major legislation.

Anne R.

This teacher is terrific! Thank you.

Suzanne V.

I highly recommend is program.

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