Mealey's Water Rights

  • July 22, 2020

    California Appeals Court: Irrigation District Has Discretion To Allocate Water

    SAN DIEGO — California's Fourth District Court of Appeal on July 16 said an irrigation district has an equitable and beneficial interest in its water rights that consist of a right to water service and the discretion to distribute water equitably to all water users (Michael Abatti, et al. v. Imperial Irrigation District, No. D072850, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 663).

  • July 10, 2020

    Tribe Allowed To Amend 3rd Claim Against Water Districts, Assert New Standing

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 8 said that although the deadline for a Native American tribe to amend its complaint against two water districts has passed, it can amend its remaining claim concerning underground pore space and can assert new grounds for the tribe’s standing (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 13-883, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 08, 2020

    News Organization Files FOIA Suit For Document About ‘Secret’ Joint Water Meeting

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A news organization and one of its reporters on July 2 filed a complaint asking a California federal court to find that the U.S. Department of Interior has violated the federal Freedom of Information Act and to order the agency to immediately release records about a “secret” 2018 meeting between one of its representatives and California water officials regarding California water issues (The Center for Investigative Reporting, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, No. 20-4427, N.D. Calif., Oakland Div.).

  • July 08, 2020

    Federal Court Extends Stay Of 2015 Clean Water Rule Case As Backstop To New Rule

    FARGO, N.D. — A North Dakota federal magistrate judge on June 24 granted an unopposed motion by 11 states to extend a stay of their case challenging the 2015 Clean Water Rule in case the Trump Administration’s 2020 Rule is vacated and the 2015 Rule reinstated (State of North Dakota, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-59, D. N.D.).

  • July 08, 2020

    5 Environmental Groups: 2020 Clean Water Rule Violates Administrative Procedures

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five environmental groups on June 25 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to declare that the 2020 Clean Water Rule is arbitrary and capricious and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S. Code. ch. 5, subch. I § 500 et seq. (Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1743, D. D.C.).

  • July 08, 2020

    10th Circuit OKs Expedited Appeal Of Clean Water Rule Colorado-Only Injunction

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 26 granted an unopposed motion to expedite the United States’ appeal of a preliminary injunction against the 2020 Clean Water Rule as it applies to Colorado (Colorado v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-1238, 10th Cir.).

  • July 08, 2020

    Utah Appeals Court: Buyer Of Water Share Is A Protected Purchaser, Can’t Be Sued

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals on June 11 affirmed a trial court ruling that the buyer of a water share from a water company is a “protected purchaser” and that the lower court did not err in ruling against a developer who sought to void the share when it bought the accompanying property (Black Diamond Financial LLC v. Big Cottonwood Pine Tree Water Company, et al., No. 20190237-CA, Utah App., 2020 Utah App. LEXIS 93).

  • July 08, 2020

    California Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against Shasta Federal Dam Agencies

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 24 denied a motion by six environmental groups for a preliminary injunction preventing three federal agencies from using revised biological opinions (BiOps) to decide how to operate two water projects in and around the Shasta Dam (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 20-431, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111732).

  • July 08, 2020

    United States Opposes Clean Water Rule Injunction, Defends Its New Rule

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The United States on June 23 opposed a motion by a cattlemen’s association to issue an injunction against the 2020 Clean Water Rule, saying the new rule is well-reasoned and hews to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Clean Water Act (New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-988, D. N.M.).

  • July 08, 2020

    7 Native American Tribes Ask 2 Courts To Set Aside Newest Clean Water Rules

    Seven Native American tribes on June 22 sued the United States in two federal courts, seeking to reinstate the 2015 Clean Water Rule (Navajo Nation v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-602, D. N.M, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-266, D. Ariz., Tucson).

  • July 07, 2020

    Vacate 2020 Clean Water Rule, Reinstate 2015 Version, 4 Environmental Groups Ask

    SEATTLE — Four environmental groups in a June 22 complaint ask a Washington federal court to vacate the 2020 Clean Water Rule and to reinstate the 2015 Clean Water Rule (Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-950, W.D. Wash., Seattle).

  • July 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.

  • July 07, 2020

    Retired Federal Judge Named Mediator In U.S. High Court Interstate Water Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on June 25 appointed retired federal Judge Oliver W. Wanger to serve as mediator in an interstate water dispute between Texas and New Mexico and Colorado (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 07, 2020

    United States Backs Denial Of Equitable Apportionment In Interstate Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States on July 6 told the U.S. Supreme Court that it supports a special master's recommendation not to grant Florida's request for equitable apportionment of water underlying it and neighboring Georgia (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 24, 2020

    Oregon Appeals Court: Hydroelectric Water Right Didn’t Convert After Shutdown

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals on June 10 affirmed a trial court ruling that a hydroelectric water right had not converted to an in-stream water right after a power plant stopped making electricity (WaterWatch of Oregon v. Water Resources Department, et al., No. 279, Ore. App., 2018 Ore. App. LEXIS 1652).

  • June 23, 2020

    California Federal Judge Denies National Injunction Against Clean Water Rule

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 19 denied a motion by 17 states, the District of Columbia, New York City and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for a nationwide injunction preventing the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Rule from going into effect on June 22 (California, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 10-3005, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 23, 2020

    2020 Clean Water Rule Start Date Stayed By Colorado Federal Judge

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on June 19 stayed the effective date of the 2020 Clean Water Rule and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to continue to administer the 2015 Clean Water Rule in the state (Colorado v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-1461, D. Colo.).

  • June 22, 2020

    Tribes’ Win Intact As High Court Denies Klamath Farmers’ Cert Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 22 declined to review a long-running dispute between farmers and Native American tribes over the rights to Klamath River water, letting stand a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals victory for the tribes and the fish populations they sought to protect (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 19-1134, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 22, 2020

    California Appeals Court Affirms Water Board’s Drought Restrictions For 2 Species

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court on June 18 affirmed judgment against an irrigation company, finding that the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has “broad authority” to issue temporary emergency regulations to ensure adequate tributary water to protect two threatened species of fish (Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company v. California, et al., No. C085762, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 558).

  • June 10, 2020

    Judge Denies Tribe’s Motion To Lift Litigation Stay In Klamath Project Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 denied a motion by a Native American tribe to lift a voluntary stay of litigation against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, finding that there is no evidence that the bureau violated the stipulation or an interim plan for maintaining water levels in the Klamath River (Yurok Tribe, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al., No. 19-4405, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94484).

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