Adam Schempp

Adam Schempp
Senior Attorney; Director, Western Water Program

Adam Schempp joined ELI as a Staff Attorney in 2007. He leads the Institute’s work on water allocation and use in the U.S. Much of Mr. Schempp’s research focuses on water resource management, specifically identifying opportunities to meet conservation and sustainability objectives through existing laws and potential legal developments. Mr. Schempp also has worked extensively on other topics, including TMDLs and CWA 303(d) listing under the Clean Water Act, marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management of marine resources, and routine program changes under the Coastal Zone Management Act. Prior to joining ELI, Mr. Schempp clerked in the legal department of the Denver Water Board and for the Native American Rights Fund.

Media Guide
  • Law: state water allocation laws; Clean Water Act; Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Oceans: state coastal zone management programs
  • Water: instream flows, water conservation, water rights transactions, water quality
  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2006
  • B.A., Ethics, Politics, and Economics, concentration in environmental policy, Yale University, 2003
Selected Publications

Adam Schempp, Five Things to Consider When Developing and Adapting Water Policies and programs in the West (Envtl. L. Inst. 2014).

Adam Schempp, At the Confluence of the Clean Water Act and Prior Appropriation: The Challenge and Ways Forward (Envtl. L. Inst. 2013).

Alliance for Water Efficiency & ELI, The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies (2012).

Susan Graham, Adam Schempp & Jessica Troell, Regulating Nonpoint Source Pollution in a Federal Government: Four Case Studies, 27 Int’l J. Water Resources Mgmt. 53 (2011).

Alliance for Water Efficiency, American Rivers & ELI, Water Efficiency for Instream Flow: Making the Link in Practice (2011).

James M. McElfish, Jr., Read Porter, and Adam Schempp, Mapping the Energy-Water Policy Landscape (2010).

Adam Schempp, Western Water in the 21st Century Policies and Programs that Stretch Supplies in a Prior Appropriation World (Envtl. L. Inst. 2009).

Jordan Diamond, Adam Schempp, Kathryn Mengerink & Jay Austin, Marine Spatial Planning in U.S. Waters: an Assessment and Analysis of Existing Legal Mechanisms, Anticipated Barriers, and Future Opportunities (prepared for Ocean Conservancy, 2009).

Kathryn Mengerink, Adam Schempp, and Jay Austin, Ocean and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: Implementation Handbook (Envtl. L. Inst. 2009).

Adam Schempp and Jay Austin, Water Right Impairment in Reclamation and Reuse: How Other Western States Can Inform Washington Law, in Implementation of Reclaimed Water Use: 2007 Report to the Governor and State Legislature (Wash. Dept. of Ecology 2007).