Stanley C. Powell, Associate

Stan is an associate attorney in the firm’s natural resources practice group. He represents both public and private sector clients in water-related resource matters, including water rights, land use and water supply adequacy. Stan is also a registered civil engineer and geologist with an extensive background in water resources planning, particularly groundwater and water management.

Legal Experience

Stan performs a variety of legal services for clients, including in-depth legal research and analysis, regulatory compliance assistance and litigation support. Specific areas of experience include:

  • Compliance with state and federal regulatory acts, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Evaluation of surface water and groundwater rights
  • Assistance with land use planning issues
  • Assistance with assessment of adequacy of water supply
  • Analysis of water supply entities and PUC regulatory issues

Prior to entering the legal field, Stan worked as a consulting engineer from 1983 to 2003 with Bookman-Edmonston Engineering, Inc. and Science Applications International Corporation. Over the course of his engineering career, Stan worked on a variety of projects primarily for public water districts, and supervised and performed planning work. That engineering work, which is highly relevant to his current responsibilities, included:

  • Developing plans for coordinated use of surface water and groundwater
  • Preparing hydrologic appendices for draft environmental impact statements
  • Assisting in development and evaluation of water banking programs
  • Preparing loan applications
  • Quantifying groundwater supplies available to clients
  • Evaluating impacts of historical and potential alternative operations, including studies in support of litigation and negotiations

Practice Examples

Recent examples of legal matters which Stan has assisted on include:

  • Participation in Watermaster process for the implementation of the judgment in a groundwater adjudication of a coastal aquifer
  • Evaluation of surface water rights issues related to the proposed decommissioning of a FERC-licensed hydropower generating plant
  • Litigation assistance to public districts in challenging CEQA compliance of wastewater treatment plant discharges to surface water also used for water supply
  • Litigation assistance with respect to responsibility of mutual water company to provide water service
  • Research on applicability of Williamson Act to proposed parcel split

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Stan professional activities and affiliations include:

  • Member, California State Bar
  • Registered Civil Engineer, State of California
  • Registered Geologist, State of California
  • Certified Engineering Geologist, State of California
  • Registered Patent Agent
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers

Academic Background

J.D. University of California, Davis, 2007

  • Witkin Awards for Land Use Law and Patent Law
  • Research Assistant, Professor Elizabeth Joh (June 2004 – August 2004). Prepared memorandum on the technical basis for forensic use of DNA and researched legal restrictions on the use of DNA profiles

M.B.A. University of California, Davis, 2007

M.E. University of California, Davis, 1983

B.S. University of California, Davis, 1980

    Speaking Engagements



    Speaking Engagement


    2012 California Water Law Symposium | Best Practices for Managing California’s Water Banks in the Future – Saving for a (Non) Rainy Day


    Saturday, January 21, 2012


    2:00 p.m.


    Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA

    Sponsored By:

    2012 California Water Law Symposium – "Water and Growth: The Imperative for Sustainable Approaches to Uncertainty"



    Adam Lazar, Center for Biological Diversity

    Frank Wolak, Stanford University

    Session Overview:

    As surface water grows scarcer and California's water needs increase, there is growing focus on water storage. Water banking is unique in that it facilitates water storage without evaporative losses and dams. California possesses one of the world's largest water banks, the Kern Water Bank, and is in the position to act as an innovator in the development of water banking law. However, water bank regulation in California is still developing, and many questions need to be answered. At this time there are major gaps in water bank regulation, and many water banks are under private control. This panel will focus on ways to eliminate uncertainties in water bank regulation and management and strategies for making water banks a useful part of California's water infrastructure.


    For more information and to register, please visit the California Water Law Symposium website.