Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
One of the US’s driest states just saw a major legal decision that could leave landowners and home-owners in conflict with each other and developers for scarce resources. The state’s laws already dictate that the right to draw up unlimited groundwater belong to landowners. In addition, there is a grey area involving a federal water right to conserve water in the entire San Pedro river area that has prevented development from marching on. Until now, developers and the Board of Land Management have been in a tug of war over the slow pace of development projects. The ruling has given more power to developers to build in the area and claim water rights, but it does this without solving one major problem – scarce water.
Mediation Keeps it Simple
Like many disputes about water, this is a complicated tangle of public and private interests, with a very simple problem at the heart – a lack of water. Water mediation is about returning complicated water disputes to much needed simplicity. How can everyone from individual homeowners to private companies, to public bodies agree on how to use a common resource? Again, despite how complicated these disputes can get, mediation makes it simpler by establishing one commitment among parties – common benefit. Even if water rights are legally held privately, a mediation session must proceed towards the benefit of all parties. Because of this, mediation can be a more responsible way of working out water disputes. In mediation there’s a greater chance parties will be more likely to work towards preserving water as a resource for future generations.
It might seem that there’s no good place to start in conflicts involving complex historical water rights. Even with conflicting existing laws and water rights, it can move positions closer to together so that better decisions by authorities and private companies can be made, paving the way for better policy and legislation. How do we do this at BCS when a big panorama like a water conflict is involved? Game theory is an approach specifically designed for analyzing the way humans share and compete over resources. We apply this theory as a way of empowering parties to see the landscape of their conflict. We also use tools from psychoanalysis to uncover hidden reasons why people can’t cooperate. We can take extremely complex disputes and find a way to focus on the issues that matter so that parties can claim ownership over the decision-making process.
Who We Are
We are a group of well-educated mediators and negotiators with financial, legal, and psychological backgrounds who can analyze your land or water conflict and provide solution sets that benefit all parties. We recognize that water conflicts often have deep historical roots and require a thorough analysis of sustainable solutions, drawing on the knowledge of experts and the parties involved. By employing careful scientific, mathematical, and legal knowledge, recognizing the important values and interests of all stakeholders, and utilizing practical techniques informed by game theory, psychology, and solid strategic and tactical techniques, we can help any and all parties achieve their goals. This approach to conflict avoids costly and protracted litigation, creates sustainable solutions, and develops long-lasting relationships that can pave the way for increased co-operation and better policy on water management and rights. You can visit us at our offices in Boulder, CO, Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and Beverly Hills, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. Mediation can be arranged either in person or remotely. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.