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Mealey's Water Rights

  • July 10, 2019

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • July 10, 2019

    Idaho Supreme Court: State Water Department Isn’t Impeding Ranch’s Water Right

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on June 14 said the state water department’s interpretation of a 1989 final decree of water rights did not affect a ranch’s rights to water passing through a water basin (Gordon Sylte, et al. v. Idaho Department of Water Resources, et al., No. 46062, Idaho Sup., 2019 Ida. LEXIS 105).

  • July 10, 2019

    Washington Appeals Court Says State’s Instream Flow Rule Is Arbitrary, Capricious

    TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington appeals panel on June 26 reversed a state trial court and said the state Department of Ecology’s rule for minimum instream summer flows on the lower reach of the Spokane River is inconsistent with state water law, exceeds rule-making authority, is arbitrary and capricious and is thus invalid (Center for Environmental Law & Policy, et al. v. State of Washington Department of Ecology, No. 51439-7-II, Wash. App., Div. 2, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 1668).

  • July 10, 2019

    California:  Water Districts Weren’t Prevailing Parties In Curtailment Cases

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The state of California on July 8 told a state coordination court judge that it should deny a request by three water districts for $291,803 in costs in the water curtailment proceedings, saying the agencies are not prevailing parties entitled to reimbursement (California Water Curtailment Cases, JCCP No. 4838 [West Side Irrigation District, et al. v. California State Water Resources Control Board, et al.], Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

  • July 10, 2019

    United States Dismissed From Riverflow Lawsuit For Sovereign Immunity

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 26 dismissed a river flow lawsuit against the United States after finding that since the case does not involve water rights, the government has not waived its sovereign immunity under the McCarren Amendment (San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-177, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107218).

  • July 10, 2019

    Oklahoma, Business Groups Appeal Denial Of Injunction On Clean Water Rule

    DENVER — Oklahoma, three chambers of commerce and two business associations on June 12 appealed a federal judge’s denial of a preliminary injunction against the 2015 federal Clean Water Rule to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, et al., No. 19-5055, 10th Cir.).

  • July 3, 2019

    Colorado Supreme Court: 1940 Water Pact Doesn’t Limit Denver Water Supply

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on July 1 said the city and county of Denver is not prohibited by a 1940 water agreement from importing water from a different source it acquired after the agreement was signed (City & County of Denver v. Consolidated Ditches of Water District No. 2, No. 16SA291, Colo. Sup., 2019 Colo. LEXIS 574).

  • June 25, 2019

    Fed’s Waiver Of Environmental Review Of Pipeline Project Found ‘Contrary To Law’

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 20 said a determination by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that the proposed 43-mile Cadiz water pipeline fell within an 1875 railroad right of way and didn’t require environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act was contrary to law and violated the Administrative Procedure Act (Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, No. 17-9587, National Parks Conservation Association v. Ryan Zinke, No. 18-6775, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 25, 2019

    Judge: Plaintiffs Waived Right To Disqualify Opposing Counsel In Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on June 19 denied a motion by 17 California municipalities and water districts to disqualify opposing counsel for alleged concurrent representation of adverse parties in a Fifth Amendment water takings lawsuit against the United States (Fresno, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 16-1276L, Fed. Clms.).

  • June 12, 2019

    California Sues Water District To Stop Work On Raising Height Of The Shasta Dam

    REDDING, Calif. — The state of California and six environmental groups on May 13 separately sued the Westlands Water District to prevent it from raising the height of the Shasta Dam in violation of the state’s wild and scenic river protection law (California, et al. v. Westlands Water District, et al., No. 19-0192487, and Friends of the River, et al. v. Westlands Water District, et al., No. 19-0192490, Calif. Super., Shasta Co.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • June 12, 2019

    Georgia Water Authority, Army Corps Reach Agreement On Water Storage Accounting

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on June 3 stayed a water accounting lawsuit between the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the parties on May 28 told the court that they agreed to a stay while the Army Corps performs a water reallocation study and evaluation of its accounting method (Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 17-400, N.D. Ga., Atlanta Div.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Ohio, Tennessee Appeal Clean Water Rule Injunction Denial To 6th Circuit

    CINCINNATI — After a 1-1/2-year detour, the 2015 Clean Water Rule is back before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after Ohio and Tennessee appealed a district court judge’s denial of a preliminary injunction against the rule (Ohio, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-3500, 6th Cir.).

  • June 12, 2019

    8 California Water Districts Urge Federal Claims Court To Dismiss Takings Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eight California water districts on May 15 told the U.S. Federal Claims Court that it should dismiss a breach of contract and water takings lawsuit by the city of Fresno and 17 other water districts and municipalities against the United States (Fresno, et al. v. United States, No. 16-1276, Fed. Clms.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against 2015 Clean Water Rule

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on May 29 denied a motion by Oklahoma and five business organizations to issue a preliminary injunction against the 2015 federal Clean Water Rule, saying that after four years, the defendants were unable to show that they or any of their constituents would suffer irreparable harm from the law governing discharges into the “waters of the United States” (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-381, N.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89677).

  • June 12, 2019

    Nevada Supreme Court Affirms Forfeiture Of Water Right For Nonuse

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — A unanimous Nevada Supreme Court on May 29 agreed that the state engineer did not act in an arbitrary and capricious way when he denied a developer’s request to extend its water right due to nonuse (Mountain Falls Acquisition Corporation v. Nevada, et al., No. 74130, Nev. Sup., 2019 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 614).

  • June 12, 2019

    Mississippi-Tennessee Supreme Court Water Case Hearing Concludes May 30

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on May 30 concluded a four-day hearing on whether Mississippi’s groundwater is an intrastate resource or an interstate resource (Mississippi v. Tennessee, No. 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Montana High Court: Objectors Didn’t Prove Rights Holder’s Nonuse Of Water

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on May 14 affirmed a Montana Water Court’s rejections of objections filed by two water users who claimed that a downstream property owner abandoned his water rights (In Re:  Gene J. Klamert, et al., No. DA 18-0413, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 178).

  • June 12, 2019

    Montana Supreme Court: Water Court Erred In Ruling On Implied Water Use

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on May 21 said a state water court judge erred when he ruled that two water rights holders had not met the state’s standard for showing that their claims implied stockwater rights (Claimants: John R. Sampson, et al., No. DA 18-0689, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 188).

  • June 7, 2019

    Judge Orders California Water Board To Set Aside Drought Water Curtailment Orders

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A California judge on June 6 issued peremptory writs of mandate ordering the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to set aside water curtailment orders issued during the state’s historic drought in May and June 2015 to seven water districts (California Water Curtailment Cases, JCCP No. 4838, No. 2015-1-CV-285182, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).