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MGKF represents clients in addressing a wide variety of water supply issues, including industrial clients that require water for their operations, developers who need to provide potable water service to the residential or commercial users who occupy their projects, and water utilities that provide water service to the general public.

With respect to industrial clients, we represent companies that withdraw water from surface water or groundwater sources for use as cooling water or in their manufacturing processes. While industrial operations often obtain this water from the local utility, frequently they must obtain water either by installing wells and withdrawing it from the ground or via intakes on nearby surface waters. State water allocation permits may be required for either surface or groundwater withdrawals, and permitting requirements applicable to the construction and maintenance of surface water intake structures may come into play. In addition, interstate agencies such as the Delaware River Basin Commission ("DRBC") and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission ("SRBC") regulate surface and groundwater withdrawals within their jurisdiction. Finally, both state and interstate drought restrictions may be triggered in times of serious rainfall deficiencies. The firm's attorneys have experience with these various permitting and regulatory programs.

While developers may frequently have the ability to connect readily to local utility or municipal water supplies, there are occasions when they need to install community supply wells or individual on-lot wells. In these situations, we counsel developers as to the requirements under federal and state safe drinking water regulations governing the establishment and operation of community and non-community public water supply systems and the requirements for installation and testing of individual wells.

Finally, we represent public water utility companies in connection with a variety of issues, including water allocation permits, state water supply management planning, and easements for the construction of water distribution systems.

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The following are representative matters that we have handled in the water supply field:

  • The firm represented an industrial client in connection with permitting related to withdrawal of water from the Delaware River for cooling water and permitting of a water intake.
  • MGKF counseled an industrial client that had excess water allocation capacity concerning its ability to transfer that capacity to another user with a capacity shortage.
  • We represented a water utility in challenging state allocation permits issued to a local municipality that obtained a portion of its capacity from the utility, and in connection with the update to the state's water supply management plan and how it may have affected the utility's operations.
  • MGKF counseled clients concerning preparation of drought emergency contingency plans and compliance with water use restrictions during drought conditions.
  • The firm represented state-wide and regional trade organizations in amicus curiae briefing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding water withdrawal rights and governmental jurisdiction under the Susquehanna River Basin Compact.

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