Mealey's Water Rights

  • October 26, 2020

    Oklahoma Supreme Court: Published Notice About Water Permit Is Legally Inadequate

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Oct. 6 reversed summary judgment in a case involving a water permit for a fracking operation, finding that notifying neighbors whose land abuts a source lake by publishing a notice in a low-circulation newspaper is constitutionally inadequate for due process (Betty Sue Adams Purcell, et al. v. Todd A. Parker, et al., No. 118328, Okla. Sup., 2020 Okla. LEXIS 92).

  • October 20, 2020

    Utah Supreme Court Reverses Well Interference Ruling, Remands Negligence Claim

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Oct. 15 reversed a trial court’s determination that a water company’s pumping from a well interfered with two neighboring wells, finding that the trial court’s findings were insufficient (Robert B. Arave, et al. v. Pineview West Water Company, No. 20180067, Utah Sup., 2020 Utah LEXIS 181).

  • October 07, 2020

    California Irrigation District Tells High Court To Reject Review Of Water Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — California’s Imperial Irrigation District (IID) on Sept. 14 told the state Supreme Court that it should not grant review of an appellate court ruling that farmers served by the district have an interest in its water rights but don’t have water rights themselves (Michael Abatti, et al. v. Imperial Irrigation District, No. S264093, Calif. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2020

    Water Watch Group: District's WaterFix Bond OK Violates Validation Statutes

    LOS ANGELES — An advocacy group on Sept. 9 told a California appeals court that it is not opposing a tax or fee but is instead challenging the legal propriety of an authorization of bonded indebtedness by water agencies to eventually fund a multibillion-dollar water project formerly known as the California WaterFix (Food and Water Watch and Center for Food Safety v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. B297553, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2020 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 5224).

  • October 07, 2020

    Mandamus Petition Filed In Oregon Klamath River Basin Adjudication

    SALEM, Ore. — Forty-five Oregon water rights holders on Sept. 22 petitioned the state Supreme Court for a peremptory or alternative writ of mandamus directing a court to comply with state civil and evidentiary law in its adjudication of the Klamath River Basin (In Re Waters of the Klamath River Basin, No. S067998, Ore. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2020

    Nevada High Court: Public Trust Doctrine Doesn't Permit Water Right Reallocation

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — In a split decision, the Nevada Supreme Court on Sept. 17 ruled that the public trust doctrine as implemented in the state's comprehensive water statutes does not permit the reallocation of water rights that have already been adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior appropriation (Mineral County, et al. v. Lyon County, et al., No. 75917, Nev. Sup., 2020 Nev. LEXIS 56).

  • October 07, 2020

    California's Metropolitan Water District Appeals $44.37M Judgment For San Diego

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) on Sept. 11 notified a California trial court that it will appeal the court’s $44.37 million judgment in Metropolitan’s water supply charge litigation with the San Diego Water Authority (San Diego) (San Diego County Water Authority v. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. CPF-10-610830, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • October 07, 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.

  • October 06, 2020

    Judge Gives Guidance On Types Of Water Compensation Due From Nevada District

    RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Oct. 1 issued guidance on the types of water compensation the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) is liable for to settle its 20-year debt for wrongful diversion of water from the Truckee River (United States v. Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, et al., No. 95-757, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181643).

  • October 05, 2020

    High Court Quizzes Texas On Why It Should Overrule River Master In Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas Solicitor General Kyle D. Hawkins on Oct. 5 faced questions by the eight U.S. Supreme Court justices during a virtual hearing about why the court should find that a court-appointed river master's decision on giving New Mexico credits for evaporated reservoir water violated the Rio Grande Compact among the two states and was contrary to the formulas laid out in the river master's manual (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 05, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Florida-Georgia Interstate Water Case 'In Due Course'

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5 said in its first orders list of the new term that arguments in an interstate water dispute between Florida and Georgia “are set for oral argument in due course” (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 05, 2020

    Bureau Of Land Management Director Declared 'Unlawful;' Actions May Be Set Aside

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Montana federal judge on Sept. 25 declared that William Perry Pendley has unlawfully served as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the past 425 days and wants a list of what actions by Pendley need to be set aside (Steve Bullock, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, et al., No. 20-62, D. Mont., Great Falls Div., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177029).

  • October 02, 2020

    Federal Claims Court Shoots Down Tribe's Fiduciary Duty Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Indian tribe cannot pursue money damages from the United States for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties owed to the tribe for management of its trust lands along the Colorado River in the California desert because the tribe filed the claims too late and failed to state valid claims, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge determined Sept. 29 in dismissing the tribe's action (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe v. United States, No. 16-492L, Fed. Clms., 2020 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1867).

  • October 01, 2020

    Trial In Texas/New Mexico Supreme Court Water Case Set For Summer 2021

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — One week before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case, the special master in the interstate water case between Texas and New Mexico and Colorado on Sept. 29 amended his trial management schedule and set a trial for July or August 2021 (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 30, 2020

    Tribes' Aboriginal Water Rights Not Extinguished By Spain, Split 10th Circuit Rules

    DENVER — 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, a divided 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 29 in reversing a federal court's ruling on interlocutory appeal (United States, et al. v. Tom Abousleman, et al., Nos. 18-2164, 18-2167, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 30918).

  • September 29, 2020

    Tribes Needed As Parties, But Their Immunity Bars Joinder To Water Rights Suits

    MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Sept. 25 adopted in full a magistrate judge's recommendation and dismissed consolidated water rights cases filed by farmers and water districts in the Klamath Basin for failure to join two Indian tribes that are required parties but cannot be added to the dispute due to their sovereign immunity (Klamath Irrigation District, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al., Nos. 19-451 and 19-531, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177212).

  • September 16, 2020

    Tribe's Suit Against Water Districts Over Water Quality Survives Dismissal Bids

    PHOENIX — Two water districts in Arizona are not entitled to dismissal of an Indian tribe's suit against them because the issues are not the same as those being decided in a state court water rights adjudication, but the tribe must add the United States as a defendant due to its contracts with the districts, a federal judge ruled Sept. 14 (Ak-Chin Indian Community v. Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation & Drainage District, et al., No. 20-489, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167852).

  • September 08, 2020

    Montana Supreme Court: City Has No Protectable Interest In Water Right Change

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Aug. 25 affirmed the state's approval of a water change application that the city of Bozeman alleged infringed on its protectable interests for water service to an overlapping area (Bozeman v. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, et al., No. DA 19-0680, Mont. Sup., 2020 Mont. LEXIS 2259).

  • September 08, 2020

    California Supreme Court Won't Review Challenge To Delta Reform Act, Council

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 12 denied a request by 12 water districts to depublish a state appellate court ruling affirming the Delta Stewardship Council's water management and land use planning authority and to review the appellate court decision  (Delta Stewardship Council Cases, No. S262908, Calif. Sup.).

  • September 09, 2020

    Oregon Federal Judge Denies Cattlemen Injunction Against Clean Water Rule Phrase

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Aug. 7 denied without prejudice due to a lack of standing a motion by a cattlemen’s association for a preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing the words “or intermittent” in the Trump administration’s new Clean Water Rule (Oregon Cattlemen’s Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-564, D. Ore.).

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