Mealey's Water Rights

  • January 15, 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.

  • January 15, 2020

    Court Awards A Fraction Of Claimed Costs In California Water Curtailment Cases

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A California state court judge on Dec. 23 awarded $13,205 to four water districts as the prevailing parties in the California water curtailment cases but granted the state government’s motion to strike $1.13 million in other costs (California Water Curtailment Cases, JCCP No. 4838, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

  • January 15, 2020

    New Mexico Appeals Court Affirms Condemnation For Irrigation Ditch

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico state appeals court on Dec. 6 affirmed a district court’s approval of a condemnation action for an irrigation ditch on a neighbor’s property and for the court’s determination that the defendants are due only $689 as reasonable compensation (Trudy S. Abrams, et al. v. Aaron Martinez, et al., No. A-1-CA-36430, N.M. App., 2019 N.M. App. Unpub. LEXIS 490).

  • January 15, 2020

    California Appeals Court: No Environmental Report Needed For Islands Purchase

    SAN JOAQUIN, Calif. — A California appeals court on Dec. 30 affirmed that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California did not have to perform an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it purchased 20,000 acres of islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta because Metropolitan has not said what it will use the property for (San Joaquin, et al. v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. C087640, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., San Joaquin, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8652).

  • January 15, 2020

    Water Authority Offers To Settle Water Rate Case For $72M; Opponent Says $140M

    SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Water Authority on Dec. 19 made a counteroffer to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) to settle their long-running litigation for $140 million and agreements on certain water rates and transmission costs.

  • January 15, 2020

    16 Business Associations Seek To Intervene In Clean Water Rule Challenge

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Sixteen business associations on Dec. 18 moved to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the federal government’s latest attempt to repeal the 2019 Clean Water Rule (South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 19-3006, D. S.C., Charleston Div.).

  • January 15, 2020

    Oklahoma, Business Groups Dismiss Clean Water Rule Appeal In 10th Circuit

    DENVER — An appeal of a Clean Water Rule decision by Oklahoma and five business groups was voluntarily dismissed Dec. 23 by the appellants in light of the administration’s so-called Repeal Rule (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-5055, 10th Cir.).

  • January 15, 2020

    14 States, 2 Cities Want Clean Water Rule Replacement Declared Invalid

    NEW YORK — Fourteen states, the District of Columbia and New York City on Dec. 20 filed a complaint asking a federal court in New York to declare that the federal government’s proposed replacement for the 2015 Clean Water Rule is invalid (New York, et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 19-11673, S.D. N.Y.).

  • January 15, 2020

    Nevada Ministry Loses Water Rights Taking Claims, But Flooding Claim Survives

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Nov. 20 dismissed an unconstitutional takings claim by a Nevada ministry that says the federal government took its water rights but preserved for trial the ministry’s claim that floods caused by a federal water project took use of the ministry’s property (Ministerio Roca Solida v. United States, No. 16-826L, Fed. Clms., 2019 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1812).

  • January 15, 2020

    Georgia Federal Judge Won’t Vacate 2015 Clean Water Rule

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on Jan. 3 denied as moot a motion by states and business intervenors to reconsider his August order remanding the 2015 Clean Water Rule to the federal government and to instead vacate the rule entirely (Georgia v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Brunswick Div.).

  • January 13, 2020

    U.S. High Court Denies ‘Pre-Federal’ Parties Intervention In Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 denied a motion by the “pre-federal” plaintiffs for leave to intervene in an interstate water dispute among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Special Master Recommends High Court Not Grant Florida’s Interstate Water Request

    SANTA FE, N.M — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Dec. 11 recommended that the high court not grant Florida’s request for a decree equitably apportioning the waters of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint (ACF) basins because the evidence in the six-year-old case doesn’t show Florida was harmed by Georgia (State of Florida v. State of Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Utah Appeals Court Affirms Family’s Water Easement, Says Neighbors Forfeited Rights

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 affirmed that a family that holds a water easement across a neighboring property dating back to the 1880s holds a water easement across a neighboring property and that the neighbors forfeited their water rights by failing to put them to beneficial use (Ross and Norma Allen Family Trust, et al. v. Jeffrey Holt, et al., No. 20180614-CA, Utah App., 2019 Ut. App. 197).

  • December 11, 2019

    2 Water Agencies Oppose Tribe’s Amended Complaint In Groundwater Suit

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Two California water districts on Nov. 25 told a federal court that a Native American tribe is trying to expand its groundwater lawsuit now that the court has narrowed the case to one issue (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 13-883, C.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss United States’ Water Suit Against California’s Delta Plan

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Dec. 2 denied a motion by the state to dismiss a federal government lawsuit related to a water quality plan for the state’s so-called Delta area and ordered additional briefing on federal immunity (United States v. State Water Resources Control Board, et al., No. 19-547, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207360).

  • December 11, 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.

  • December 11, 2019

    Environmental Group Urges Stay Of Trial Pending Biological Opinion Challenge

    FRESNO, Calif. — Environmental plaintiffs in a California fish takings case on Dec. 2 asked a federal court to stay a claim and stay judgment on three other claims until the validity of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2019 biological opinion (BiOp) is determined in separate litigation (Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 05-1207, E.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    6 Environmental Groups: Political Appointees Hijacked California Biological Opinions

    SAN FRANCISCO — Six environmental groups on Dec. 2 sued two cabinet secretaries and four executive brand agencies alleging that they violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S. Code. ch. 5, subch. I § 500 et seq., and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S. Code, § 1531 et seq., by changing federal biological opinions for political reasons and in ways that will harm endangered river fish in northern California (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 19-7897, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Michigan Appeals Court: Nestle Water Pump Isn’t A Public Service Or Essential

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Appeals on Dec. 3 reversed a lower court order that would have resulted in a permit for a water pumping station for Nestle Waters Northern America Inc.’s water bottling operation near Evart, Mich. (Nestle Waters North America, Inc. v. Township of Osceola, No. 341881, Mich. App., 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 7659).

  • December 11, 2019

    Environmentalists File 60-Day Notice Of Intent To Sue Military For River’s Overuse

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Center for Biological Diversity, the Maricopa Audubon Society and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club on Dec. 3 filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for withdrawing too much water for a fort from the San Pedro River basin and endangering protected species in and around the river basin.