Mealey's Water Rights

  • June 30, 2022

    High Court Will Hear Arguments On Clean Water Act Definition Of Wetlands On Oct. 3

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 14 set Oct. 3 as the date for oral argument in a case brought by Idaho landowners against the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the definition of “wetlands” for the purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act (CWA) after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals adopted a concurring opinion from the high court’s previous decision on the issue.

  • June 09, 2022

    Federal Claims Court:  United States Didn’t Breach Water Contracts During Drought

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A judge in the U.S. Federal Claims Court on June 6 granted summary judgment to the United States against claims by a California city and 17 irrigation districts that the Bureau of Reclamation breached water contracts in 2014 by prioritizing water deliveries to certain contractors instead of the plaintiffs.

  • June 07, 2022

    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 07, 2022

    United States Moves To Block Oregon Orders Limiting Releases From Klamath Lake

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service on May 27 moved for summary judgment against the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), arguing that orders issued by the department forbidding Reclamation from releasing certain water from the Upper Klamath Lake violate the federal agencies’ obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and violate federal reserved tribal water rights for tribal fisheries.

  • June 07, 2022

    High Court Special Master: Interstate Water Trial To Start Oct. 3 If No Settlement

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on May 26 said that if settlement discussions of the interstate water dispute among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado are unsuccessful by June 24 and it is necessary to continue trial before the special master, the trial will restart Oct. 3.

  • June 07, 2022

    Klamath Tribes File 2nd Complaint Over Klamath Lake Water Releases

    MEDFORD, Ore. — The Klamath Tribes on May 9 filed a complaint against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to, in part, enjoin Reclamation from authorizing any further water diversions from the 2022 Spring/Summer Project Supply unless it “validly complies” with obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • June 07, 2022

    Interior Department Tells 10th Circuit It Took A ‘Hard Look’ At Utah Water Pact

    DENVER — The U.S. Interior Department on May 3 told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it took a required “hard look” at the potential environmental impacts of a water exchange contract and properly concluded that there was no need for an environmental impact statement (EIS), contrary to what five environmental groups claim in their appeal of a federal district court judgment in favor of the federal government.

  • June 07, 2022

    Suit To Quiet Title To Water Ditches On Federal Land Dismissed On Jurisdiction

    POCATELLO, Idaho — An Idaho federal magistrate judge on May 13 dismissed a complaint to quiet title filed by two owners of ditches crossing federal land for lack of subject matter jurisdiction but granted the plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint.

  • June 07, 2022

    Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Water Court’s Final Decree In Multiparty Appeal

    DENVER — A unanimous Colorado Supreme Court on May 16 affirmed a water court’s final water rights decree in an application by an irrigation and reservoir company, rejecting appeals by the applicants and several objectors.

  • June 07, 2022

    Idaho High Court Agrees Groundwater Right Transfer Would Enlarge Use Of Water

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on May 18 affirmed the denial of an application to transfer the use of a groundwater right because it would be an enlargement of use and would injure the water rights of others.

  • June 06, 2022

    California Appeals Court: Move To Disqualify Law Firm In Water Case Was Untimely

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California appeals court on June 3 vacated a trial court order disqualifying a law firm from representing defendants in ongoing litigation concerning the Las Posas Valley groundwater basin, finding that the motion to disqualify was untimely and that disqualifying the firm in mid-litigation would prejudice the defendants.

  • June 03, 2022

    State, Water Districts Ask U.S. High Court To Exercise Jurisdiction In Navajo Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three western states and nine western water districts on May 17 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its retained jurisdiction in a Colorado River water rights case and rule that the Navajo Nation cannot sue three federal agencies to compel them to develop a water plan for the tribe and to manage the Lower Basin of the Colorado River (LBCR) but must instead let the high court decide the issue.

  • June 02, 2022

    California Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court’s Water Decree Interpretation

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court on May 31 reversed a trial court’s interpretation of a 1940 water rights decree, ruling against a family trust that wanted to change a point of diversion for water and in favor of a local irrigation district.

  • May 18, 2022

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • May 17, 2022

    Nevada Judge Vacates State Engineer’s Creation Of Water ‘Superbasin’

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada judge on April 19 vacated a state engineer’s order that created a “superbasin” combining several separate groundwater basins, saying the engineer lacked authority to override prior appropriation water rights and failed to follow due process in arriving at his order.

  • May 17, 2022

    Water District Can’t Intervene In Tribe’s Lawsuit For More Water For Boat Dance

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 16 denied a motion by the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) to intervene in a water release case between the Yurok Tribe and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, finding that the district raises an issue that goes beyond the scope of the lawsuit.

  • May 17, 2022

    Montana High Court: Well Dispute A Matter Of Contract Law, Not Water Use Law

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on May 10 said contract law and not the Montana Water Use Act applies to a dispute between two neighbors over a shared well agreement.

  • May 17, 2022

    Minnesota Appeals Court: Farm Timely Appealed Water Redetermination

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on April 18 reversed summary judgment dismissing a landowner’s appeal of a water district’s redetermination of “benefits and damages” for a drainage system, finding that the appeal was not filed late,

  • May 17, 2022

    Nevada High Court: Trial Court Erred In OKing Separate Appeal In Adjudication

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on May 4 said a district court improvidently certified that a claimant was not involved in other exceptions to a water rights adjudication and was entitled to summary judgment.

  • May 17, 2022

    Judge To Grant Voluntary Vacatur Of Approvals For California Water Pipeline

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal court judge on May 4 issued a tentative ruling granting the Bureau of Land Management’s motion to voluntarily remand and vacate the bureau’s approval of rights of way allowing water to be transported through an abandoned natural gas pipeline crossing federal land, saying the agency has a right to reevaluate its original approval.

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