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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal court judge on May 12 denied a motion by Siskiyou County to dissolve a preliminary injunction blocking two county ordinances regulating the trucking of water, saying changes by the county resolve some concerns about the effects of the ordinances on a predominantly Hmong community but do not establish that the injunction is no longer needed.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Third District Court of Appeal on May 11 reversed a trial court’s denial of private attorney general fees in cases challenging the now-defunct California WaterFix project, saying the lower court failed to apply the correct legal standard in determining that the plaintiffs’ lawsuits resulted in actions taken by the state’s new governor.
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27 affirmed a federal district court ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a tribal court judgment in a water rights dispute that took place on a Native American reservation.
MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on April 25 denied a motion by the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) to remand the district’s lawsuit seeking an injunction preventing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from releasing water from the Upper Klamath Lake except to provide irrigation under state law water rights.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court on April 20 ordered a trial court to grant a petition for a writ of mandamus and ruled that Siskiyou County must revise a water bottling permit to broaden the permit’s objectives, revise its alternatives analysis and recirculate the environmental impact report (EIR) discussion of greenhouse gas emissions and allow comments on them.