Theresa A. Dunham

Theresa “Tess” Dunham is a partner in KSC. Her practice has been laser-focused on California and federal water quality laws for more than 20 years, during which she has become known statewide for expertise on the Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act, the Clean Water Act, and other related regulatory schemes. Tess works closely with agriculture, publicly owned treatment works, stormwater agencies, industry and others on a variety of water quality issues. She appears regularly before the State Water Resources Control Board, and the state’s regional water quality control boards on various and complex water quality issues. Tess’ water quality law practice also carries over to the state and federal courts where she has represented clients at all levels.

For the last decade, Tess has represented the Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSC), and served as one of the chief architects of the Central Valley Salt and Nitrate Management Plan, which is designed to deal with the problem of salt and nitrate in Central Valley groundwater basins. Tess actively participates in the Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) Executive Committee along with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, environmental justice advocates, state agencies, federal agencies and others. Most recently, Tess has
been selected by the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority to assist in providing water quality regulatory and facilitation services to the Basin Monitoring Task Force, which oversees implementation of the Santa Ana region’s historic salt and nitrate management plan. Tess is also providing regulatory facilitation assistance to the Middle Santa Ana River’s Bacteria TMDL Task Force and the Lake Elsinore/Canyon Lake Nutrient TMDL Task Force.

Tess earned her J.D. from McGeorge School of Law and studied history at Boston University as an undergrad. She is a graduate of the California Agriculture Leadership Program and received a certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of California, Davis. Beyond her law practice, Tess enjoys time with her husband David, three children and grandson. Tess was raised on a sheep ranch and rice farm in Colusa County, and continues the family agriculture business of rice farming.

Theresa A. Dunham


  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • B.A., History, Boston University


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