Somach Simmons and Dunn, Attorneys at Law Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law



  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California
  • United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts for California

Alyson E. Ackerman
LinkedIn Bio

Alyson Ackerman advocates for diverse clients – public water service providers, private water users, developers, motor coach manufacturers, and food processors – in various practice areas and venues. She manages the unexpected, cares about her clients and their goals, and believes that being an active member of the legal community makes her a better advocate.

Alyson heads the firm’s northern California membership in the Environmental Law Network (ELN). ELN is a group of more than 250 environmental attorneys throughout the country who collaborate and share resources, creating an association for clients to have trusted, local representation available nationwide. Through ELN, Alyson founded the ELN Future Lawyers Division, a peer-to-peer networking and professional development group for associates and new partners.

Alyson advises clients on surface water rights to secure and develop reliable water supplies for varying needs. She identifies thoughtful and pragmatic solutions to meet her clients’ needs and achieve resolution, whether through water rights opinions, or administrative or judicial proceedings.

As outside general and special counsel to special district clients, Alyson regularly attends board of directors’ meetings. In this capacity, she also works closely with district general managers and/or district engineers to address the host of issues that public water purveyors may face, including water rights, infrastructure permitting, easements, Brown Act and Public Records Act compliance, Local Area Formation Commission matters, and employment concerns.

Alyson helps grow the firm’s air quality practice, providing counsel on attaining and maintaining compliance with state and local air quality standards for both stationary and mobile sources. Where required, she represents these clients in administrative proceedings to achieve relief from regulatory standards, but endeavors to negotiate practical settlements outside of administrative proceedings wherever possible.

Outside of work, Alyson is most likely found either at her favorite locally-owned independent bookstore – Face in a Book – providing book recommendations or taking in nature in the stunning California foothills.

Representative Matters

Represented irrigation districts in successful challenge to State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) authority to curtail pre-1914 water rights holders from diverting water from the Delta.

Counseled public water suppliers in converting water service contracts with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to permanent repayment contracts under the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act.

Draft water rights opinions involving various surface water supplies, including the Fresno River, tributaries to the Truckee River, Arroyo de la Laguna, San Joaquin River, and Consumnes River for private landowners, resorts and golf courses, regional park districts, and prospective developers.

Represented municipal water department in stationary internal combustion engine emissions standards variance proceeding before South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board.

Advise national motor coach manufacturers to resolve violations of California Air Resources Board regulations.

Counsel municipal water department to achieve compliance with South Coast Air Quality Management District public fleet requirements mandating alternative-fueled public fleet vehicles.

Represented out-of-state consumer products manufacturer in settlement of regulatory violations of California Air Resources Board consumer products regulations.

Counseled home developer on issues arising from possible purchase of land overlying contaminated groundwater plume for planned development.

Insights and Activities

  • Selected for inclusion, Northern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2020-present
  • Presenter, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Summary of Appellate Cases Panel, November 2022
  • Presenter, Navigating a New Work Structure While Maintaining Healthy Firm Succession, Environmental Law Network Annual Meeting, September 2022
  • Presenter, Status of Clean Water Act’s Waters of the United States Rule, Environmental Law Network, February 2019
  • Co-author of pro-bono amicus brief filed in Court of Appeal, Fourth California Appellate District, April 2019
  • Contributor, ACWA Summary of Appellate Cases, since 2018
  • Co-author, Learning from West, Texas: Proposed Amendments to Clean Air Act’s Accidental Release Prevention Risk Management Program, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, March 2016
  • Co-author, Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s New Non Rule Policy Documents for “Contained-in Determinations” and Uncontaminated Soil, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, April 2015

Recent Articles

Large Municipal Water Suppliers May Soon Have Prescribed Methodology for Calculating Water Use Efficiency Objectives Under Newly Proposed Regulations

The “Making Conservation a California Way of Life” regulation (Proposed Conservation Regulation) seeks to establish the methods and criteria that large municipal water suppliers must use to calculate their “urban ... Read More

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta Water Districts to Receive Appellate Attorneys’ Fees as Private Attorneys’ General after Successfully Prosecuting the State Water Resources Control Board’s Curtailment Overreach in 2015

On April 4, 2023, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ordered the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to reimburse a group of California irrigation districts and water agencies ... Read More

New Year, New California Public Records Act Organization and Codification

Effective January 1, 2023, the California Public Records Act (CPRA) has a new location within the Government Code, complete with relabeled organizational headings that improve navigating the statute. The Legislature ... Read More

Court of Appeal Determines That the State Water Resources Control Board Exceeded Its Authority in 2015 When It Ordered Curtailment Among Valid Pre-1914 Water Right Holders Based on Insufficient Water to Serve Their Priorities

Yesterday the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District agreed with Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Walsh (Ret.) that the State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Board) curtailment ... Read More

Water Users Legally Obligated to Rein in Certain Outdoor Water Uses

Despite the exceptionally heavy rain events in October and December 2021, California is still experiencing severe drought conditions. In response to these statewide dry conditions, and Governor Newsom’s October 2021 ... Read More


  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California
  • United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts for California