Mealey's Water Rights

  • January 12, 2021

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • January 12, 2021

    California Water Company Asks U.S. High Court To Review Water Curtailment Actions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California water company on Dec. 22 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the state government could invoke emergency “quasi-legislative” powers to curtail the company’s historic use of water from a creek because the state deemed the water use “unreasonable.”

  • January 12, 2021

    2 Plaintiffs Oppose Dismissal Of Clean Water Rule Suit, Citing Arbitrary Behavior

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Two plaintiffs on Dec. 9 opposed the United States’ cross-motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s Clean Water Rule, arguing that they have standing to bring their suit and that the government’s adoption of the final rule is “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.”

  • January 12, 2021

    Tribe’s Water Contract Conversion Suit Transferred To 2nd California Federal Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in northern California on Dec. 21 granted a motion by the United States to transfer a lawsuit filed by a Native American tribe challenging the conversion of water contracts into “repayment contracts” to another federal court where two similar cases are pending.

  • January 12, 2021

    Colorado Federal Judge Denies Challenge Involving ‘Firming’ Water Project

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Dec. 10 denied a petition by seven environmental groups that a federal environmental review of a water project violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act.

  • January 12, 2021

    California Appeals Court Affirms Ruling In Antelope Valley Adjudication

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on Dec. 9 affirmed an adjudication court’s ruling on a water district’s denial of water rights in in the Antelope Valley water basin and limitations on the amount of water it could export to customers outside the valley.

  • January 12, 2021

    Oregon Appeals Court Reverses Vacating Of State Agency’s Water Curtailment Order

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Dec. 30 reversed a trial court order vacating a state water curtailment order, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the issue is covered by an agreement among parties and that is in litigation in another state court that is reviewing the Klamath River Basin adjudication.

  • January 07, 2021

    U.S. High Court To Hear Arguments Feb. 22 In Florida-Georgia Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 31 scheduled a hearing for Feb. 22 to hear Florida’s exceptions to a special master’s recommendation that the high court deny equitable apportionment of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin that Florida shares with Georgia.

  • December 21, 2020

    10th Circuit Panel Denies Rehearing In Tribal Aboriginal Water Rights Case

    DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 18 declined to rehear its finding in a divided opinion that three Native American tribes still possess their aboriginal water rights in the Jemez River in New Mexico because Spain never acted affirmatively to extinguish the rights when it held sovereignty over the land in the 1500s (United States, et al. v. Tom Abousleman, et al., Nos. 18-2164, 18-2167, 10th Cir.).

  • December 14, 2020

    Supreme Court Backs Water Evaporation Ruling In Texas- New Mexico Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a near-majority vote, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 14 denied a motion by Texas to review a river master’s award of a credit to New Mexico for evaporated reservoir water in a six-year-old interstate water dispute between the neighboring states (Texas v. New Mexico, No. 65, Orig., U.S. Sup.).

  • December 09, 2020

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • December 09, 2020

    Environmental Plaintiff Gets $365,804 In Appellate Fees In Endangered Species Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 16 trimmed $86,041 from an appeal fee request by a Native American environmental group, awarding it $365,804 against a California water district accused of killing fish by failing to release sufficient water into waterways (Wishtoyo Foundation, et al. v. United Water Conservation District, No. 19-55380, 9th Cir.).

  • December 09, 2020

    Federal Judge Won’t Enjoin Replacement Of Irrigation Canals With Pipeline

    EUGENE, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Nov. 13 denied issuance of a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the Tumalo Irrigation District Modernization Project sought by eight landowners who object to the plan to replace open irrigation ditches with pipes (Matthew James Smith, et al. v. Tumalo Irrigation District, et al., No. 20-345, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212592).

  • December 09, 2020

    17 States, 2 Cities Seek Summary Judgment In Clean Water Rule Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Seventeen states on Nov. 23 moved for summary judgment against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to void their Navigable Waters Protection Rule:  Definition of Waters of the United States (the 2020 Rule), saying the rule is based on misinterpretation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (California, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-3005, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 08, 2020

    4 Environmental Groups Sue To Stop California Dam Pending Compliance

    MODESTO, Calif. — Four environmental groups on Nov. 20 sued a water district in California state court, saying the district’s environmental approval of a proposed dam violates the state’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq. (Sierra Club, et al. v. Del Puerto Water District, et al., No. CV-20-005193, Calif. Super., Stanislaus Co.).

  • December 08, 2020

    2 Environmental Groups Seek Summary Judgment Against New Clean Water Rule

    BALTIMORE — Two environmental groups on Nov. 24 moved for summary judgment against the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Rule, saying the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers misapplied U.S. Supreme Court precedent and violated the Administrative Procedure Act (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1063, D. Md.).

  • December 08, 2020

    Colorado High Court: Water District’s Application Is Speculative

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 23 affirmed denial of an application for conditional water storage rights by a one-acre water and sanitation district, saying the district did not prove that its application did not violate the state’s anti-speculation doctrine and that a purported contract did not show that it would provide water to distant specific customers in any amount (United Water & Sanitation District v. Burlington Ditch Reservoir & Land Co., No. 19SA150, Colo. Sup., 2020 Colo. LEXIS 1036).

  • December 08, 2020

    California Appeals Court Affirms Judgment In Land, Water Access Case

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Nov. 17 affirmed a trial court’s judgment in a land access and water access lawsuit, finding that the appellants failed to demonstrate that the lower court misinterpreted a joint declaration governing three parcels of land awarding breach-of-contract damages to the defendants (Southfork Ranch, LLC, et al. v. David Bunn, et al., No. B279391, Calif. App., Dist. 2, Div. 6, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7515).

  • December 08, 2020

    Appeals Court Orders California Judge To Disqualify Himself In Water Rights Case

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court on Nov. 24 said its remand of a water rights case may be considered a final judgment for purposes of allowing a second peremptory challenge and ordered the trial judge to grant a motion to disqualify himself from the case (Imperial Irrigation District v. Superior Court of Imperial County, No. D078122, Calif. Super., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7762).

  • December 08, 2020

    United States To Court:  Defer To EPA, Army Corps On Clean Water Rule Challenge

    BOSTON — The United States on Dec. 3 told a Massachusetts federal court that it should grant its cross-motion for summary judgment in a case challenging the current Clean Water Rule by deferring to agency expertise and a lack of improper procedure in promulgating the rule (Conservation Law Foundation, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-18020, D. Mass.).