Mealey's Water Rights

  • November 15, 2019

    Federal Circuit:  Tribal Water Rights Didn’t Result In ‘Taking’ Farmers’ Water

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 affirmed a Federal Claims Court ruling that federally reserved tribal water rights and compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) did not result in the unconstitutional taking of water from Oregon and California farmers in 2001 when irrigation water deliveries were halted (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 18-1323 and 18-1325, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33930).

  • November 15, 2019

    Fishing Groups Plead For High Court Review Of Clean Water Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s water quality will suffer drastically if states waive their authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to issue water quality certificates for dams awaiting federal license renewal whenever requests for certification are not fulfilled in a year, as a federal circuit court ruled, two fishing groups argue in a Nov. 6 reply in support of their U.S. Supreme Court petition (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Massachusetts Land Court: 1985 Water Law Repealed 1884 Law, Claims Under Latter

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts Land Court judge on Oct. 11 ruled that two towns’ claims to surface water from a pond under an 1884 law were extinguished when the state passed a superseding water management law in 1985 (Town of Concord v. Littleton Water Department, et al., No. 18 Misc. 000596, Mass. Land Ct., 2019 Mass. LCR LEXIS 197).

  • November 13, 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.

  • November 13, 2019

    Magistrate Judge Allows 2 Tribes To Intervene In Water Suit, File Dismissal Motion

    MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal magistrate judge on Nov. 6 granted a motion by two native American tribes to intervene in two lawsuits involving U.S. Bureau of Reclamation changes to the Klamath water project for the limited purpose of filing a motion to dismiss the cases (Klamath Irrigation District, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al., Nos. 19-451 and 19-531, D. Ore., Medford Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192741).

  • November 13, 2019

    Nevada Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Denial Of Domestic Well Permits

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on Nov. 5 heard arguments about whether the state engineer had authority to deny the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump, Nev. (Tim Wilson, P.E., et al. v. Pahrump Fair Water, LLC, et al., No. 77722, Nev. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Supreme Court Special Master Hears Argument In Florida-Georgia Water Case

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Nov. 7 heard arguments in Florida’s interstate water lawsuit against Georgia (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Idaho Supreme Court Affirms Water Rights Ruling On Res Judicata

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Oct. 28 unanimously affirmed a trial court ruling that the claims by two parties to water rights on a third party’s property are barred by res judicata because they were part of a water basin adjudication (First Security Corporation v. Belle Ranch, LLC, et al., Nos. 46144 and 46147, Idaho Sup., 2019 Ida. LEXIS 193).

  • November 13, 2019

    Clean Water Rule Repeal Generates 2 Lawsuits Immediately After Publication

    Within two days of the publication of the Trump administration’s repeal of the Clean Water Rule, at least two federal lawsuits were filed against the United States to stop the rule or to have pre-rule regulations declared illegal.

  • November 13, 2019

    Repeal Rule Of 2015 Clean Water Rule Will Take Effect Dec. 23

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Oct. 22 published the Trump administration’s “Repeal Rule” for the 2015 Clean Water Rule finalized under the Obama administration (“Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ — Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules,” 84 Fed. Reg. 56626, Oct. 22, 2019).

  • November 13, 2019

    10th Circuit Will Hear Appeal Of Clean Water Rule Decision, Decide If It’s Moot

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 referred to a panel both the merits of a Clean Water Rule interlocutory appeal and whether it is moot in light of the latest replacement rule (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-5055, 10th Cir.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Environmental Groups: Why Bother Vacating 2015 Clean Water Rule Now?

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Two environmental groups that intervened as defendants in a Clean Water Rule case on Nov. 4 told a Georgia federal court that it should hold in abeyance motions by the defendant federal plaintiffs, plaintiff states and industry intervenors to declare the case moot in light of the so-called repeal rule (Georgia, et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Brunswick Div.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Indiana Utility, Town Settle Suit Over Water Territory Right

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana county water utility and a town on Oct. 22 told a federal court that they have settled their lawsuit alleging that the town violated the utility’s federal water service right by providing water service to a large commercial development (Brown County Water Utility, Inc. v. Town of Nashville, Indiana, et al., No. 17-2134, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.).

  • November 12, 2019

    Water District’s Role In Shasta Dam Project Ends With Settlement

    REDDING, Calif. — The California Attorney General’s Office on Nov. 7 settled a lawsuit alleging that the Westlands Water District violated state law by taking the lead in a controversial project to raise the height of the Shasta Dam (California v. Westlands Water District, et al., No. 192487, Calif. Super., Shasta Co.).

  • November 05, 2019

    Montana Supreme Court: No Private Enforcement Of State’s Water Use Act

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Oct. 15 affirmed a district court ruling that a water rights holder has no private right to enforce the Montana Water Use Act, Mont. Code Ann. § 85-2-114 (Lyman Creek, LLC v. City of Bozeman, No. DA 19-0112, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 604).

  • October 30, 2019

    Government, Tribe, Company Say Cert Not Warranted For Clean Water Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States, a Native American tribe and a hydroelectric company on Oct. 28 all came out in favor of denying U.S. Supreme Court review of a ruling that Oregon and California’s authority to conduct water quality reviews for the federal licensing process for dams was waived by the dam operator’s yearly withdrawals and resubmissions for federal licensing renewal (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 21, 2019

    U.S. Supreme Court Will Review River Master’s Reports For Texas, New Mexico Water

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 21 granted a conditional motion of Texas to review a river master’s 2019 final determination of New Mexico’s water delivery obligations under the Pecos River Compact (Texas v. New Mexico, No. 65, Orig., U.S. Sup.).

  • October 09, 2019

    States Back Anglers’ Groups Seeking Reversal Of Clean Water Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-one states filed an amicus curiae brief Sept. 27 in the U.S. Supreme Court to support two fishing groups battling a ruling in favor of an Indian tribe that Oregon and California’s authority to conduct water quality reviews for the federal licensing process for hydroelectric dams was waived by the dam operator’s yearly withdrawals and resubmissions for federal licensing renewal (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3572).

  • October 09, 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.

  • October 09, 2019

    California Appeal Court: Winery Won’t Effect Groundwater Supply

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a ruling issued Sept. 6 and published Oct. 7, a California appeals court affirmed that there is no evidence to support a fair argument that a proposed winery in northern California will have significant environmental effects, including on groundwater below and around the proposed project (Maacama Watershed Alliance, et al. v. County of Sonoma, et al., No. A155606, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 977).