Mealey's Water Rights

  • July 12, 2017

    Discovery Motion In Delta Land Purchase Case Continued By Judge Until August

    STOCKTON, Calif. — A California state court judge on July 5 continued a motion to conduct discovery in a lawsuit by various water districts against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) for its purchase of 20,000 acres of land in California’s Delta region (County of San Joaquin, et al. v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. STK-CV-UWM-2016-0003597, Calif. Super., San Joaquin Co.).

  • July 12, 2017

    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 11, 2017

    United States Issues Biological Opinion For California’s WaterFix Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on June 23 issued its final biological opinion for the California WaterFix project.

  • July 11, 2017

    Arizona Appeals Court: Attorney Fees In Water Case Not Capped At $10,000

    PHOENIX — An Arizona law capping attorney fees at $10,000 does not apply in a state/county water lawsuit, an Arizona appeals panel ruled June 20 (Mohave County v. Arizona Department of Water Resources, No. 1 CA-CV 16-0259, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2017 Ariz. App. LEXIS 130).

  • July 11, 2017

    Final Decree Entered In Long-Running New Mexico Water Adjudication

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on June 30 entered a final judgment and decree in a lengthy water adjudication case (State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer v. R. Lee Aamodt, et al., No. 66-6639, D. N.M.).

  • July 11, 2017

    United States Starts Notifying Courts Of Pending Change To Clean Water Rule

    CINCINNATI — The United States on June 30 began notifying courts where Clean Water Rule cases are pending that the Trump administration intends to change the rule at issue in the cases (In Re:  United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Defense, Final Rule: Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States,’ 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 [June 29, 2015], No. 15-3751, 6th Cir.).

  • July 11, 2017

    Environmental Groups Sue To Overturn California WaterFix Biological Opinion

    SAN FRANCISCO — Four environmental groups on June 29 filed two complaints in California federal court, seeking a declaration that a recent biological opinion about the California WaterFix project was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (Golden Gate Salmon Association, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 17-3742, and Bay.org, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 17-3739, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 11, 2017

    Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Decisions Not To ‘De-Designate’ Water Basin Rights

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on June 19 affirmed decisions not to “de-designate” a water basin to strengthen one landowner’s water rights at the expense of those of neighboring junior well owners (Gallegos Family Properties, LLC v. Colorado Groundwater Commission, et al., Nos. 15SA118 and 15SA277, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 533).

  • July 11, 2017

    Army Corps’ Hands Are Tied In Protecting Yuba River Fish, United States Tells Court

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The United States on June 23 cross-moved for summary judgment in a California federal lawsuit accusing it of jeopardizing endangered fish, saying its hands are tied by lack of authority to perform the actions the plaintiff seeks (Friends of the River v. National Marine Fisheries Service, et al., No. 16-818, E.D. Calif.).

  • July 10, 2017

    Environmental Plaintiff, United States Stipulate To Delta Smelt Documents

    FRESNO, Calif. — The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the U.S. Department of the Interior on July 7 stipulated in a California federal court to the production of additional government documents and said they will resolve document admissibility questions through motions and a case challenging adequate federal protection of the threatened Delta smelt fish (Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 05-1207, E.D. Calif.).

  • July 10, 2017

    U.S. Supreme Court Asked To Resolve Whether Tribe Has Reserved Groundwater Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two California water districts on July 5 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the issue of whether the federal government and a Native American tribe have reserved rights to groundwater under federally reserved land (Coachella Valley Water District, et al. v. Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, et al., No. 17-40, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 7, 2017

    Environmental Plaintiff Says Administrative Record On Delta Smelt Is Incomplete

    FRESNO, Calif. — The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on July 5 asked a California federal court to order two federal agencies to produce the full administrative record as it relates to the threatened Delta smelt (Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 05-1207, E.D. Calif.).

  • June 28, 2017

    United States Will Rescind Clean Water Rule, Revert To Old Definitions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 27 announced a proposed rule that will rescind the Clean Water Rule and return definitions of “waters of the United States” to their previous form pending the writing of a new rule.

  • June 26, 2017

    Idaho City Must Apply For Transfer To Use Seepages To Recharge Groundwater

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on June 20 affirmed a trial court ruling that the city of Blackfoot must apply for a transfer of water resources to use water seepage for recharge of groundwater drawn for irrigation (The City of Blackfoot v. Gary Spackman, et al., No. 44207, 2017 Opinion No. 67, Idaho Sup., 2017 Ida. LEXIS 179).

  • June 22, 2017

    California Appeals Court Vacates $245M Water Transfer Judgment For Recalculation

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on June 21 vacated a $245.9 million judgment against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for having overcharged the San Diego County Water Authority for wheeling (transporting) water through the Metropolitan system that San Diego obtained from another source (San Diego County Water Authority v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., Nos. A146901, A148266, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 567).

  • June 15, 2017

    9th Circuit Partly Affirms In Long-Running Case Over Arizona Tribes’ Water Rights

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 issued its eighth decision in a 92-year dispute concerning whether landowners can transfer their rights to divert water from the Gila River, which flows through southern Arizona, partly affirming and partly reversing a trial court’s rulings on hundreds of transfer applications (United States of America, et al. v. Gila Valley Irrigation District, et al., Nos. 14-16942, 14-16943, 14-16944, 14-17047, 14-17048, 14-17185, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10477).

  • June 13, 2017

    U.S., Water Agencies Debate Standing In Suit Over Releases During Drought

    FRESNO, Calif. — A water authority and water district do not have standing to challenge the federal government’s decision to release additional water from a dam because they are interested only in protecting their supply of water to customers, not the health of a protected fish species, the government argues in a June 9 supplemental brief in California federal court (San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 15-1290, E.D. Calif.).

  • June 13, 2017

    California Federal Judge Lifts Stay Of Tribe’s Suit Against Water Districts

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 5 granted the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ motion to lift a stay of its groundwater lawsuit against two water districts, finding that continuing the stay would prejudice the tribe and “unfairly advantage” the water districts “by permitting their ongoing disregard of the Tribe’s rights” (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 13-883, C.D. Calif., Eastern Div.).

  • June 7, 2017

    Federal Claims Judge Dismisses Tribe’s Reserved Water Rights Suit Against United States

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal claims court judge on June 1 dismissed a Fifth Amendment water takings lawsuit brought by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe against the U.S. Department of Interior (Crow Creek Sioux Tribe v. The United States, No. 16-760, Fed. Clms., 2017 U.S. Claims LEXIS 604).

  • June 7, 2017

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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