Previously a co-chair of our natural resources, energy and environmental practice group, Rob Anderson is one of the Southwest’s most recognized water attorneys, focusing primarily on water rights and water resource issues, as well as water quality, wetlands, and endangered species. Water, the lifeblood of Arizona, is essential to the State’s future growth and Rob has been deeply involved in the cutting edge issues involving water that will shape that future. Rob routinely represents development and mining interests in securing sufficient supplies, addressing water policy issues and complying with regulatory requirements affecting to the use of water. In the Clean Water Act arena, he advises a wide range of clients on environmental and water issues, including Section 404 (wetlands) permits, plus compliance issues associated with residential development, mining and industrial concerns and renewable energy projects.
Rob’s passion for history fueled his initial interest in water law, which is inseparable from the history of the new American west. He was initially drawn to our firm because of the reputation of water rights attorney Jim Johnson, then a director at Fennemore Craig, one of the key negotiators of the landmark 1980 Groundwater Management Act, which paved the way for the growth and prosperity that Arizona now enjoys. Speaking of 1980, Rob points to the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ favorite statistic - that by moving from agriculture to more urban uses, along with more efficient water usage, our region now uses about the same amount of water we did back then despite our economy and population growing exponentially. However, as issues such as climate change and global warming compound the effects of a decades-old drought on the Colorado River system, it has now become more imperative to look at developing new resources, including ocean and groundwater desalination techniques. Within this context, significant social and political issues will continue to arise as the critical impact of water on sustainability is only magnified by the needs of the next generation.
Outside of work as a water attorney, Rob enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings and Twins, and he is also an avid guitar player, counting the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and the Clash among his classic rock heroes.