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Mealey's Water Rights

  • January 14, 2019

    Kansas Appeals Court Affirms Permanent Injunction Against Water Right

    TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas state appeals court on Jan. 11 affirmed a trial court’s permanent injunction against a junior water right holder who was found to be infringing on the senior water right of a neighbor (Garetson Brothers, et al. v. American Warrior, Inc., et al., No. 117,404, Kan. App., 2019 Kan. App. LEXIS 3).

  • January 14, 2019

    9th Circuit Dismisses Appeal Over 10-Year Stay In Water Rights Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 7 dismissed without prejudice the appeal of a California water rights holder who has grown impatient with a 10-year stay of complex litigation in which he is involved (United States, et al. v. Gregory Burnett, et al., No. 17-55664, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 418).

  • January 14, 2019

    Federal Circuit Affirms Water Contract Breach Claims In 1-Word Opinion

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 17 affirmed the U.S. Court of Federal Claims’ denial of claims by a city, a county, a water company and two water districts that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation violated a water delivery contract by denying the plaintiffs less water than they were contractually due (Stockton East Water District, et al. v. United States, No. 17-2431, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35267).

  • January 8, 2019

    Nevada Supreme Court To Rule On State Engineer’s Water Well Restriction

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on Jan. 3 temporarily stayed a state trial court order ruling that the state engineer lacks authority to impose restrictions on the drilling of new domestic water wells in the state’s Pahrump water basin (Jason King, P.E., et al. v. Pahrump Fair Water, LLC, et al., No. 77722, Nev. Sup.).

  • January 4, 2019

    Water Cases Stayed By Government Shutdown

    The partial shutdown of the federal government is impacting water litigation in which the United States is a party, according to Jan. 3 and earlier filings three courts.

  • December 19, 2018

    EPA, Army Corps Propose New Definition Of Waters Of The United States

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 11 announced a proposed revised definition of the Waters of the United States for purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a), an action that would directly impact the beleaguered Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015.

  • December 12, 2018

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Reopens 2 Clean Water Rule Cases To Clarify Rule’s Status

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion by plaintiffs in two Clean Water Rule cases to reopen their cases (Oklahoma, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-381, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-386, N.D. Okla.).

  • December 12, 2018

    Montana Supreme Court: Ranch Can’t Reopen Water Rights Case, Substitute Itself

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Dec. 11 affirmed denial of a ranch’s motion to reopen a water rights case and to substitute itself as an objector (Little Big Warm Ranch, LLC v. Cheri L. Doll, et al., No. DA 18-0123, Mont. Sup., 2018 Mont. LEXIS 430).

  • December 12, 2018

    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 12, 2018

    United States Drops Appeals In Klamath River Cases Brought By 2 Tribes

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service on Nov. 20 voluntarily dismissed 12 appeals of a federal district court judgment in favor of two Native American tribes over the release of water into the Klamath River (Yurok Tribe, et al. v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, et al., and Hoopa Valley Tribe v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, et al., Nos. 17-15676, et al., 9th Cir.).

  • December 12, 2018

    Fish And Wildlife Regional Director Named Western ‘Water Czar’ By Administration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Paul Souza on Nov. 21 was designated as the Trump administration’s lead official in charge of managing the Klamath Irrigation and Central Valley Project’s compliance with a recent presidential memorandum on water supply and delivery in the western United States, according to a joint press release by the Interior and Commerce departments.

  • December 12, 2018

    10th Circuit Clarifies Water Adjudication Ruling; En Banc Rehearing Denied

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 clarified language in its August ruling in a New Mexico water adjudication but did not change the outcome of its decision (New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer, et al. v. Nansy Carson, et al., No. 17-2147, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32161).

  • December 12, 2018

    Special Master: Mississippi ‘Burned Its Boats’ In Water Case Against Tennessee

    CINCINNATI — Although the U.S. Supreme Court special master overseeing Mississippi’s interstate groundwater case against Tennessee on Nov. 29 said Mississippi “burned its boats” by disclaiming equitable apportionment of water rights, defendant Tennessee is still not entitled to summary judgment and the case should proceed to an evidentiary hearing so the high court can rule on whether water under the two states is an intrastate or interstate resource (Mississippi v. Tennessee, et al., No. 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 12, 2018

    California Appeals Court Reverses Ruling On Legality Of Groundwater Charge

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Reconsidering a prior ruling in light of a subsequent California Supreme Court opinion, the Sixth District Court of Appeal on Nov. 8 reversed its previous ruling in a groundwater extraction fee case and reversed a trial court’s ruling (Great Oaks Water Co. v. Santa Clara Valley Water District, No. H035260, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7595).

  • December 12, 2018

    Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Contempt Order In Water Diversion Case

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 13 affirmed a contempt-of-court finding by a state water court against a landowner who the state says defied orders to stop his illegal diversion of water over several years, even in the face of substantial fines and imprisonment (People of Colorado, ex rel. State Engineer, et al. v. Robert Gregg Sease, No. 17SA130, Colo. Sup., 2018 Colo. LEXIS 930).

  • December 11, 2018

    California Water Resources Withdraws Certificate For State WaterFix Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Saying there are “unresolved issues” related to California’s Delta Plan, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Dec. 7 said it is withdrawing its Certification of Consistency for the state’s WaterFix project.

  • December 10, 2018

    Washington State Department Imposed Illegal Water Transfer Rule; Injunction Issued

    PROSSER, Wash. — A Washington state court judge on Nov. 27 said the State Ecology Department’s application of state water law and the department’s refusal to apply a five-year grace period for water transfers constitutes a rule that has not gone through the state’s rule-making procedures (Loyal Pig, LLC, et al. v. Washington, et al., No. 18-2-00592-0, Wash. Super., Benton Co.).

  • December 7, 2018

    Vacating, Suspension Of Clean Water Suspension Rule Affirmed By Federal Judge

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Dec. 4 clarified that his August order vacates the so-called Suspension Rule for the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015, and enjoins the Suspension Rule nationwide (South Carolina Coaster Conservation League, et al. v. E. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 18-330, D. S.C., Charleston Div.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Administration’s Clean Water Rule Vacated Nationwide For Inadequate Comment Period

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Nov. 26 vacated the Trump administration’s attempt to delay the date of the Clean Water Rule because the agencies involved violated federal law by setting an inadequate 21-day notice and comment period (Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 15-1342, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199358).

  • November 28, 2018

    California Appeals Court Affirms Mandamus Action Against Water Project

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California state appeals court on Nov. 27 affirmed a lower court ruling that an irrigation district failed to conduct a sufficient environmental impact study of a water conservation project (Oakdale Groundwater Alliance, et al. v. Oakdale Irrigation District, et al., No. F076288, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7995).