Rooted in the Idaho Constitution and governed primarily by Titles 42 and 43, Idaho Code, the practice of water law is essential to a variety of industries in the state of Idaho. Like most western states, the foundation of Idaho water law is the prior appropriation doctrine: “first in time is first in right.” However, Idaho law also mandates the maximization of use and development of the state’s water resources. How that balance is achieved is a delicate, deliberate, technical, and ever evolving process, particularly in the conjunctive management of Idaho’s interconnected surface and ground water supplies. Idaho water law is a specialty, and Moffatt Thomas water law attorneys are experts who practice in this complex body of law on a daily basis in a team-oriented atmosphere.
Moffatt Thomas is an active member in the Idaho Water Users Association and the firm’s water law attorneys are active in Idaho water policy matters in both the administrative and legislative arenas.
The Firm handles all aspects of water law representation, from transactional work to litigation.
No matter the setting, reliable water supplies drive Idaho’s industries. From agriculture, to industry, to recreation, and to your own backyard; you depend on it, we protect it.
- Water right review, due diligence, and transactional conveyance
- Water right permitting and transfers
- Prosecution of claims and objections in Idaho’s general stream adjudications
- Enforcement and defense of water rights administration and delivery claims
- Water distribution and delivery entity representation (i.e., irrigation districts, ditch companies, lateral water users associations, and individual water users/facility owners)
- Permitting, litigation, and IDEQ/EPA enforcement defense under the federal Clean Water Act
- Representation of client interests before the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers
- Permitting of small scale hydroelectric projects
National Water Resources Association Names Norman M. Semanko, Moffatt Thomas Water Law Attorney, Vice Chair of NWRA Litigation Review Committee
Norman M. Semanko, Moffatt Thomas Partner and Leader of the firm’s Water/Environment/Natural Resources Law practice group, has been named by the National Water Resources Association to serve as Vice Chair of the Association's Litigation Review Committee.
Moffatt Thomas attorney, Norm Semanko, to provide update on Federal lands and Idaho water issues at North West Property Owners Alliance Dinner & Auction
Norman M. Semanko, Moffatt Thomas water law attorney, will be the guest speaker at the second annual North West Property Owners Alliance dinner and auction in Coeur d'Alene. March 14, 2015. He will update the group on the Coeur d'Alene Spokane River Basin Adjudication Process.
Matthew McGee, Moffatt Thomas, to Present at the Idaho Water Users Association’s Summer Water Law & Resource Issues Seminar
Moffatt Thomas attorney, Matthew J. McGee, will present "Wood River Basin Water Delivery Calls" at the Summer Water Law and Resource Seminar hosted by the Idaho Water Users Association. The College of Water Resources event will take place from June 13-14, 2016, at the Sun Valley Resort.
Leadership Idaho Agriculture: 2016 The Legal Side of Agriculture
The Legal Side of Agriculture. Moffatt Thomas will once again share current legal information with Leadership Idaho Agriculture Class 36 and Alumni at a half-day session on February 17, 2016.
Idaho Water Users Association, Inc. Honors Individuals at 2015 Annual Convention
Nine individuals were honored on January 21, 2015 by Idaho's largest water user group, the Idaho Water Users Association, Inc., at its 78th Annual Convention in Boise. Moffatt Thomas attorney, Norm Semanko, is Executive Director and General Counsel to Idaho Water Users Association.
Leadership Idaho Agriculture 2015: The Legal Side of Agriculture
Moffatt Thomas attorneys Christine E. Nicholas, Clay Gill, Ed Cather and Norm Semanko will present a half-day session for the 35th class of Leadership Idaho Agriculture on "The Legal Side of Agriculture."
Idaho Law Firm, Moffatt Thomas, Ranked Among the Nation’s 2016 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News
Moffatt Thomas has been named one of the nation’s “Best Law Firms” for 2016 from the publishers of U.S. News […]
MOFFATT THOMAS ATTORNEYS NAMED BY BEST LAWYERS® 2016
Moffatt Thomas attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America© 2016.
Super Lawyers Selects 12 Moffatt Thomas Attorneys for 2016
Twelve Moffatt Thomas attorneys were recently selected by 2016 Super Lawyers for their accomplishments in the fields of business/corporate law, business litigation, banking, employment law, environmental law and litigation, insurance defense, and medical and professional malpractice defense.
Patricia M. Olsson, Moffatt Thomas Attorney, Idaho Business Review 2016 Women of the Year Honoree
Moffatt Thomas attorney, Patricia M. Olsson, honored as one of 50 women award recipients at the February 25th IBR Women of the Year Gala.
“New administration could mean end of WOTUS rule,” Norman M. Semanko in CapitalPress, 2016
Norman M. Semanko, Moffatt Thomas Water/Natural Resources and Environmental Law Practice Group leader and former Executive Director of the Idaho Water Users Association, addressed the Treasure Valley Irrigation Conference, stating that the Trump administration could boost agricultural water users by tossing out the newly rewritten Waters of the U.S. Rule.
Norman M. Semanko, Moffatt Thomas, Updates North West Property Owners Alliance on Idaho Water Adjudication
Norman M. Semanko, leader of the Moffatt Thomas Water/Environment/Natural Resources practice group, was a guest speaker at the fourth annual North West Property Owners Alliance dinner and action in Coeur d'Alene on March 11, 2017. Mr. Semanko provided the Alliance with an update on Idaho Water Adjudication.
Moffatt Thomas Water Law Expert, Norm Semanko, Speaks to North Idaho Water Users
Federal Lands and Idaho Water Issues topic of public meetings hosted by North Idaho Water Rights Alliance and Moffatt Thomas water law attorney, Norm Semanko.
Norman M. Semako argues for North Idaho Water Rights Association
Judge Eric J. Wildman of the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin Adjudication court denied a federal motion to delay water right decrees to private property owners on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. The decision was issued following a hearing Jan. 21.
Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital Ltd, a presentation to International Law Section of the Idaho State Bar by Moffatt Thomas attorney, Jetta H. Mathews
Moffatt Thomas attorney, Jetta H. Mathews, discussed the complexities of the Argentine debt dispute during a presentation at the International Law Section of the Idaho State Bar in March, 2015.
History of Federal Water Quality Controls
History of Federal Water Quality Controls, a 2005 presentation by Scott L. Campbell for a Moffatt Thomas Water Law Breakfast […]
Irrigation Water Drainage Development in the Treasure Valley, Scott L. Campbell
On July 30, 1887, the Caldwell Tribune described that area of Idaho as "a resort for jack rabbits and badgers." The irrigation projects brought Boise River water to the land. In early 1886, two major canals began to deliver water to the area and allow development of irrigated farms and ranches.
Grazing Improvement Act, by Jetta H. Mathews
On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law changes to the permit system for grazing on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The changes are part of the “Grazing Improvement Act” legislation which has been sponsored in the House by Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho, and in the Senate by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, in the past few years.
Clean Water Rule
Federal regulators issued a much-anticipated proposed rule on the Clean Water Act during the spring of 2014, just as U.S. farmers were getting ready for another irrigation season. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers released the 371-page document on March 25, 2014. The Proposal will be open for public comment for 90 days. –May 23, 2014
Water Law Breakfast Briefing
Water Rights in Real Property Transactions: Obtaining a Water Right, by Matthew J. McGee Download PDF Water Right Considerations in […]