Adam W. Gravley




Millennium Tower
719 Second Avenue Suite 1150
Seattle, WA 98104
  • Serves as legal counsel to the Washington Water Utilities Council, a state association of nearly 200 municipal water utilities that coordinates water law and policy involvement.  Represented the association throughout the trial and appellate phases of Lummi Indian Nation v. State, 241 P.3d 1220 (2010), a constitutional challenge to the 2003 Municipal Water Law, including arguing before the State Supreme Court. Adam frequently advocates as "friend of the court" (amicus curia) in water cases of statewide importance. The work features a diverse array of issues including state water rights law and administrative policy, water availability and adjudication policy, instream flows and public interest issues, public water system regulation and state implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, "wet growth" issues, revolving fund and budget matters, and legislative proposals.
  • Represents Cascade Water Alliance on water rights and municipal water supply. The work involves securing new municipal water rights and amending existing hydropower water rights for Lake Tapps; negotiating and implementing agreements with Indian tribes, regional jurisdictions, the local community, and the Washington Department of Ecology; and negotiating and drafting wholesale water supply contracts with regional suppliers. Key issues include change and transfer of existing water rights, instream flows and fisheries, trust water and impact mitigation, Indian water rights, hydropower licensing, and future growth planning.
  • Represents an institutional investor in due diligence, acquisition, and management of over 25,000 acres of agricultural property investments in Washington State. Matters involve due diligence relating to water rights, land use, and real estate; advising on negotiations and purchase terms; and working with state and federal agencies to obtain, amend, or renew permits and approvals for farming operations and infrastructure. Key issues include evaluation of existing water, land, or access rights for water pumping and conveyance infrastructure, and impact of new regulatory developments under state water law, the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and others.
  • Chaired attorneys committee for successful water utility effort to draft, propose, and advocate for legislation to reform fire protection facility funding and risk allocation. The effort involved coordinating a large attorney team, presenting analysis and recommendations to a stakeholder group, and navigating existing law and prior state supreme court opinions to identify a viable legislative solution in support of policy objectives. Key issues included classifying charges as tax or fee, fire protection regulations, ratemaking and cost of service laws, public duty doctrine, and public policy issues relating to inherently risky activity for public good.
  • Mediated a dispute between a county and a water district involving aquifer-impact risks associated with deep-bore tunneling relating to a wastewater treatment plant project. Key issues included complex technical information, risk analysis and allocation, drinking water source contingency planning, project schedule and budget, and prior dispute resolution events.
  • Represented Microsoft Corporation in securing water supply for a large commercial office development in a water-short location. The matter involved negotiations with land owners and four jurisdictions to craft a set of agreements for extension, construction, and funding a new regional water transmission pipeline, for wholesale municipal water supply, and for allocation and security of the resulting water availability. Key issues included public/private project authority, regional water rights, water availability requirements for new growth, and compliance and approvals involving the Washington State departments of Ecology, Health, and Transportation.


Water Law in Washington

Panelist, "Stakeholder Perspectives on Approaches To Balance Instream and Out-of-Stream Water Uses in Rural Areas in the Wake of the Swinomish Decision"
Law Seminars International
Seattle, WA