Water Resources

Continental and sea water and their corresponding usage constitute a critical resource for life, the ecosystem, and the development of every type of productive activity. In such context, Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán, y Tapia is a leading law firm in water rights, providing comprehensive legal counseling, covering all activities and projects that require the vital element water, with a particular emphasis on the mining, energy, sanitary, industrial, agricultural, and agro- industrial sectors.

Given our thorough knowledge and experience relating to water rights, we have participated in the most diverse and complex projects in Chile. Our specialized and comprehensive counseling begins at the strategic and design planning stages, continues through evaluation and construction, and finalizes in the reception and operation of the project. Our team covers everything related to permit, authorizations and contracts.

Within that context, we have collaborated and advised in the search for water supply solutions for countless mining projects; in the elaboration and processing of all types of environmental impact studies, salt and desalinated water supply projects, central hydropower plants; the underwriting of long- term water supply agreements and, in general, the design and implementation of various instruments and solutions related to the use of water resources and construction of hydraulic works.

Given the complexity of these projects and the tensions that are provoked by everything relating to water usage, our team has gained invaluable experience representing our clients in the energy, mining, and agro-industrial sectors. Whether in or out of court, we are pioneers in negotiating and executing strategies and agreements that govern the administration and shared water usage at the basin and aquifer levels, and other systems.

In the adversarial sphere, both in and out of court, we offer a seasoned team of attorneys, experts in representing our clients’ interests before the General Bureau of Waters (Dirección General de Aguas, DGA), the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic , (Contraloría General de la República), ordinary courts of justice, environmental tribunals, and the National Environmental Commission (Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente), among others. We also have unique expertise in matters associated to the surveillance and sanctions procedures led by the General Bureau of Waters.

Complementary, we support our clients in matters such as approval of early alert plans; processing and attainment of sectoral permits; due diligence and asset-purchasing processes; creation of water communities, canal associations and monitoring boards; as well as the development of compliance audits on legal aspects related to the use and management of water resources, among others.

It is worth acknowledging that the members of our team have taken part in the elaboration, discussion, and processing of bills, regulations, circular letters and guidelines associated with water law in Chile.

At Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán, & Tapia, the area of water resources is composed of four lawyers, and led by partner Matías Desmadryl, who has been acknowledged by Chambers & Partners and by Leading Lawyers as the best lawyer in Chile (2017) for water matters. Most recently in 2019, Matías was awarded the prestigious title of “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers on water law in Chile in 2019.