Mealey's Water Rights

  • December 09, 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.

  • December 09, 2020

    Environmental Plaintiff Gets $365,804 In Appellate Fees In Endangered Species Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 16 trimmed $86,041 from an appeal fee request by a Native American environmental group, awarding it $365,804 against a California water district accused of killing fish by failing to release sufficient water into waterways (Wishtoyo Foundation, et al. v. United Water Conservation District, No. 19-55380, 9th Cir.).

  • December 09, 2020

    Federal Judge Won’t Enjoin Replacement Of Irrigation Canals With Pipeline

    EUGENE, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Nov. 13 denied issuance of a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the Tumalo Irrigation District Modernization Project sought by eight landowners who object to the plan to replace open irrigation ditches with pipes (Matthew James Smith, et al. v. Tumalo Irrigation District, et al., No. 20-345, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212592).

  • December 09, 2020

    17 States, 2 Cities Seek Summary Judgment In Clean Water Rule Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Seventeen states on Nov. 23 moved for summary judgment against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to void their Navigable Waters Protection Rule:  Definition of Waters of the United States (the 2020 Rule), saying the rule is based on misinterpretation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (California, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-3005, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 08, 2020

    4 Environmental Groups Sue To Stop California Dam Pending Compliance

    MODESTO, Calif. — Four environmental groups on Nov. 20 sued a water district in California state court, saying the district’s environmental approval of a proposed dam violates the state’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq. (Sierra Club, et al. v. Del Puerto Water District, et al., No. CV-20-005193, Calif. Super., Stanislaus Co.).

  • December 08, 2020

    2 Environmental Groups Seek Summary Judgment Against New Clean Water Rule

    BALTIMORE — Two environmental groups on Nov. 24 moved for summary judgment against the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Rule, saying the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers misapplied U.S. Supreme Court precedent and violated the Administrative Procedure Act (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1063, D. Md.).

  • December 08, 2020

    Colorado High Court: Water District’s Application Is Speculative

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 23 affirmed denial of an application for conditional water storage rights by a one-acre water and sanitation district, saying the district did not prove that its application did not violate the state’s anti-speculation doctrine and that a purported contract did not show that it would provide water to distant specific customers in any amount (United Water & Sanitation District v. Burlington Ditch Reservoir & Land Co., No. 19SA150, Colo. Sup., 2020 Colo. LEXIS 1036).

  • December 08, 2020

    California Appeals Court Affirms Judgment In Land, Water Access Case

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Nov. 17 affirmed a trial court’s judgment in a land access and water access lawsuit, finding that the appellants failed to demonstrate that the lower court misinterpreted a joint declaration governing three parcels of land awarding breach-of-contract damages to the defendants (Southfork Ranch, LLC, et al. v. David Bunn, et al., No. B279391, Calif. App., Dist. 2, Div. 6, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7515).

  • December 08, 2020

    Appeals Court Orders California Judge To Disqualify Himself In Water Rights Case

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court on Nov. 24 said its remand of a water rights case may be considered a final judgment for purposes of allowing a second peremptory challenge and ordered the trial judge to grant a motion to disqualify himself from the case (Imperial Irrigation District v. Superior Court of Imperial County, No. D078122, Calif. Super., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7762).

  • December 08, 2020

    United States To Court:  Defer To EPA, Army Corps On Clean Water Rule Challenge

    BOSTON — The United States on Dec. 3 told a Massachusetts federal court that it should grant its cross-motion for summary judgment in a case challenging the current Clean Water Rule by deferring to agency expertise and a lack of improper procedure in promulgating the rule (Conservation Law Foundation, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-18020, D. Mass.).

  • November 11, 2020

    Texas Seeks Partial Summary Judgment Against Some New Mexico Claims In Water Case

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Texas on Nov. 5 filed a motion with a U.S. Supreme Court special master for partial summary judgment against New Mexico’s counterclaims in the states’ interstate water dispute pending before the court (Texas v. New Mexico, No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 10, 2020

    Environmentalists Seek Mandate To Stop California Water Bond Pending Compliance

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Five environmental groups on Oct. 27 petitioned a California state court for a writ of mandate and injunctive relief to set aside the state’s Delta water project revenue bond approval until the state complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Sierra Club, et al. v. California Department of Water Resources, et al., No. 2020-80003517-CV, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

  • November 10, 2020

    Conservationists: Clean Water Rule Based On Executive Order, Not Scientific Reason

    BOSTON — Eight conservation organizations on Oct. 15 filed a motion for summary judgment against the current administration’s Clean Water Rule, saying it is improperly based on a presidential executive order rather than scientific reasoning in contravention of congressional intent and prevailing U.S. Supreme Court case law (Conservation Law Foundation, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 20-10820, D. Mass.).

  • November 10, 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.

  • November 10, 2020

    Oregon, United States, Tribe, Utility Oppose Mandamus In Klamath River Adjudication

    SALEM, Ore. — The state of Oregon, the United States, a Native American tribe and an electric utility on Oct. 20 filed briefs opposing a mandamus petition by 45 water rights holders asking the Oregon Supreme Court to direct an adjudication court to comply with state civil and evidentiary law regarding the Klamath River Basin (In Re Waters of the Klamath River Basin, No. S067998, Ore. Sup.).

  • November 10, 2020

    Idaho State Court Sets Hearing For Adjudication Of Second River Basin Water Rights

    TWIN FALLS, Idaho — An Idaho state court judge on Oct. 26 scheduled a commencement hearing on Jan. 21 for the state’s petition to commence an adjudication of water rights in the Clark Fork-Pond Oreille river basin water system (In Re:  The General Adjudication of Rights to the Use of Water from the Clark Fork-Pond Oreille River Basin Water System, No. 69576, Idaho Dist., 5th Dist., Twin Falls Co.).

  • November 10, 2020

    California County Appeals Ruling That No Permit Needed For Water Tunnel Drilling

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Sacramento County on Oct. 2 told the Third District Court of Appeal that it should reverse summary judgment against the county in its effort to force the California Department of Water Resources to obtain county well drilling permits for the state’s Delta Conveyance Project (formerly the California WaterFix) (Sacramento v. California Department of Water Resources, No. C092087, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 5612).

  • November 10, 2020

    Oregon To Appeal Order Restricting Klamath Lake Stored Water Releases

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Water Resources Department on Oct. 20 filed a notice of appeal of an Oct. 13 circuit court order barring the department from using or releasing stored water from Upper Klamath Lake without determining whether releases are permitted by users with existing water rights of record or with determined claims to use the stored water (Klamath Irrigation District v. Oregon Water Resources Department, et al., No. CA A174754, Ore. App.).

  • November 10, 2020

    Texas Appeals Court Backs Water Company Test Holes On Oil Tank Farm

    EL PASO, Texas — In a 2-1 ruling, a Texas state appeals court on Oct. 30 denied mandamus relief for a tank farm against a trial court ruling allowing a groundwater exploration company to drill seven test holes on the tank farm (In re Plains Pipeline, L.P., No. 08-19-00224-CV, Texas App., 8th Dist., El Paso, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 8546).

  • November 10, 2020

    California Supreme Court Won’t Review Abatti Water Rights Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court on Oct. 28 denied farmer Michael Abatti’s petition to review an appellate court ruling that farmers served by the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) have an interest in the district’s water rights but don’t have water rights themselves (Michael Abatti, et al. v. Imperial Irrigation District, No. S2664093, Calif. Sup.).

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