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Gary Weatherford, 1961 B.D.
GARY DEAN WEATHERFORD
Gary Weatherford, a prominent western water attorney, author, and administrative law judge, recently died at his home in Sausalito.
Weatherford will be known as one of the leading western water law and policy scholars of the last fifty years. He especially loved the American Southwest. His work and interests extended from river basins to medium-sized cities. Decades before the current interest in water efficiency, he was promoting strategies to improve water conservation and management in agriculture and other sectors. He and his good friend, Lee Brown (University of New Mexico) organized the ground-breaking 1983 Santa Fe symposium, followed by a book, "New Courses for the Colorado River," the first comprehensive look at the adequacy of the seven-state Colorado River Compact since its adoption in l922.
In 2009. Weatherford was appointed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to be an administrative law judge. In recent weeks, he had completed a controversial decision at the (CPUC) concerning the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. This decision according to one of the CPUC commissioners "puts the Monterey Peninsula on the road from water poverty to water security, with water that will be safe, reliable and drought-proof." Weatherford's CPUC's decisions on urban water conservation and the problems of the Monterey Peninsula are significant and appropriate capstones to his distinguished legal career.
Weatherford was a graduate of Yale Divinity and Yale Law schools and a member of the California bar. Weatherford began his legal career, along with now former Colorado Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Gary Hart, as a Special Assistant to the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and to the U.S. Attorney General. He went on to serve as Deputy Secretary of the California Resource Agency under Governor Jerry Brown.
Weatherford taught water and natural resources law at the University of Oregon, UCLA and the University of Santa Clara. He served on the Water Resources Archives at the University of California and was on the advisory board of the Congressionally funded Utton Transboundary Research Center.
Weatherford authored numerous books and journal articles on natural resources, water and environmental law. He was an author of The Salty Colorado (1996)-- a pioneering in depth examination of the salinity problem in the Colorado River Basin funded by The Ford Foundation.
He was also a founding partner of the now Ferris &Britton law firm in San Diego, CA. His artistic passions included both painting and sculpting.
Weatherford is survived by his wife Suzanne Weatherford and his son Ted Weatherford.