David Sandino

After his appointment by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Sandino served as Chief Counsel for the California Department of Water Resources from 2006-2010 and worked on water, environmental, and energy issues during his twenty year career with the Department. As Chief Counsel, he managed thirty-five attorneys and received the Department’s management excellence award in 2010. The Department operates the largest state-built water system in the United States, the State Water Project, which delivers water to 25 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.

During his tenure with the Department, he also served for four years as lead counsel for the California Reclamation Board (currently named the Central Valley Flood Protection Board), which is responsible for flood control protection in the Central Valley. From 1995-2000 he also worked as lead attorney for the Department in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta Hearings, which allocated responsibilities to meet environmental water quality standards in the Delta.

He has taught water law, environmental law, energy resources law, real property and local government law at Santa Clara University School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, and Golden Gate University School of Law. He also created and teaches a water law and policy course to environmental professionals at the UC Davis Extension and the UCLA Extension. He received a distinguished teaching award from UC Davis for his contribution to natural science continuing adult education. He received a 1999 Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Russia, where he taught international environmental law at the Moscow State Academy.

He is on the Board of Editors of California Environmental Law Reporter, and he has written numerous articles on the environment, water, and land use. He has been a frequent speaker on California and western water and environmental issues at conference and seminars.

He served on the City of Davis Planning Commission and Natural Resources Commission. He currently serves on the City of Davis Policy Advisory Commission, which reviews internal police investigations.


J.D. Santa Clara Law, 1984

LL.M University of London, King’s College, 1987

A.B. UC Davis, 1980

Other Links

Currently Teaching

Environmental Law in a Practice Setting Spring 2022
Water Law Spring 2022