Mealey's Water Rights

  • March 11, 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.

  • March 11, 2020

    California Water Contractors Move To Intervene In Biological Opinion Challenge

    SAN FRANCISCO — California State Water Contractors (SWC) on March 3 moved to intervene in a lawsuit that challenges a 2019 biological opinion that will govern the operation of two large water projects in the state (Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 19-7897, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 11, 2020

    Arizona Tribe Sues 2 Water Districts, Says Poor-Quality Water Violates Law

    PHOENIX — An Arizona native American tribe on March 6 sued two state water districts in federal court, seeking an injunction against commingling “lesser quality” water with Central Arizona Project water to which the tribe is entitled by law and under contract (Ak-Chin Indian Community v. Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation & Drainage District, et al., No. 20-489, D. Ariz.).

  • March 11, 2020

    Trump: Repeal Of Clean Water Rule ‘Gave Farmers Their Land Back’

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — President Donald Trump on Feb. 19 told California farmers that when he signed a replacement of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, farmers in attendance cried because “I gave them their land back.  I gave them their rights back,” according to a White House transcript.

  • March 11, 2020

    Closing Arguments Heard In Mississippi-Tennessee Interstate Water Case

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Feb. 25 heard closing arguments in Mississippi’s original jurisdiction lawsuit alleging that Tennessee and the city of Memphis are taking groundwater that rightfully belongs to Mississippi (Mississippi v. Tennessee, et al., No. 143, Orig., U.S. Sup.).

  • March 10, 2020

    Colorado Appeals Court: Farm’s Application Implicates New Water Use Under Law

    DENVER — A Colorado state appeals court panel on Feb. 13 reversed approval of a land use application because it implicates a “new water use” under state law that must be quantified by the applicant and by a county land use department (Sara Susie Hajek v. Board of County Commissioners for Boulder County, et al., No. 18-ca-2454, Colo. App., Div. II, 2020 Colo. App. LEXIS 266).

  • March 10, 2020

    Judge: Mining Company Can’t Argue It Didn’t Forfeit Its Water Rights

    TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge on March 5 collaterally estopped a mining company from arguing that it had not forfeited its rights under a water decree and ruled alternatively that the company forfeited its water rights by admitting to nonuse of the water for more than five years (Gila River Indian Community v. Freeport Minerals Corporation, No. 17-626, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39426).

  • March 10, 2020

    California Water District Sues Another District Over Poor-Quality Water Substitute

    FRESNO, Calif. — California’s James Irrigation District(JID) on Feb. 25 filed a declaratory action complaint in state court against the Westlands Water District, alleging that it violated a state environmental quality law in approving a program that will allegedly replace “high-quality” surface water with lower-quality groundwater for irrigation purposes (James Irrigation District, et al. v. Westlands Water District, No. 20CECG00688, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).

  • February 24, 2020

    U.S. High Court Will Review Texas-New Mexico Water Report On April 21

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 said it will hear oral arguments April 21 on a motion to review a river master’s final determination in an interstate water dispute among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 24, 2020

    California Sues United States For Issuing Defective Endangered Species Opinions

    SAN FRANCISCO — California on Feb. 20 sued the United States in federal court alleging that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 by adopting biological opinions in 2019 without adequately considering environmental impacts (California Natural Resources Agency, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 20-1299, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 12, 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.

  • February 12, 2020

    California WaterFix Project Replaced By The Delta Conveyance Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Jan. 15 announced in a press release the start of the Delta Conveyance Project to modernize the water infrastructure of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, starting with a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq., review.

  • February 12, 2020

    EPA, Army Corps Publish Another Rule To Replace 2015 Clean Water Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another attempt to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule — The Navigable Waters Protection Rule:  Definition of “Waters of the United States” — was unveiled Jan. 23 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • February 11, 2020

    California Landowner Says Adjudication Court’s Solution Strips Vested Water Rights

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California landowner on Jan. 24 appealed a water adjudication order that it says violates norms under the state constitution and is unfair to it (Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases, No. F075451, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2020 Ca. App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 378).

  • February 11, 2020

    EPA, Army Corps Seek Dismissal Of Suit Challenging 2019 Clean Water Rule

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The United States on Jan. 17 filed a motion asking a South Carolina federal court to dismiss nine environmental groups’ challenge to a revised clean water rule as lacking jurisdiction or premature (South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 19-3006, D. S.C., Charleston Div.).

  • February 11, 2020

    10th Circuit: Army Corps Lacks Discretion To Consult About Water Releases

    DENVER — A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks discretion under federal law to engage in “freestanding consultation” with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to release water from dams to help two endangered species (WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 18-2153, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1604).

  • February 11, 2020

    White House Budget Includes $112.1M For Native American Water Rights Settlements

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal includes $112.1 million for Native American water rights settlements, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

  • February 11, 2020

    Texas Appeals Court: State Commission Has Primacy In Water Rights Dispute

    WACO, Texas — A split Texas appeals panel on Jan. 29 affirmed that a landowner who sued in state court over ownership of water rights failed to exhaust his administrative appeals before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCED) (Pape Partners, Ltd., et al. v. DRR Family Properties LP, et al., No. 10-17-00180, Texas App., 10th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 840).

  • February 10, 2020

    Arizona Appeals Court: Landowner Didn’t Prove Ownership Of Water Ditch

    TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona appeals court on Feb. 5 said a landowner failed to show in a trial court that it had exclusive ownership in a ditch and the water in the ditch (Sweetie K LLC v. David Owens, et al., Nos. 2 CA-CV 2018-0102 and 2 CA-CV 2019-0012, Ariz. App., Div. 2, 2020 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 118).

  • February 05, 2020

    Lack Of Standing Dooms Claims Over Tribes’ Water Rights In Oregon

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ranchers in Oregon cannot challenge two protocols governing tribal water rights in the Klamath Basin because they lack the standing, having failed to show that the protocols caused them harm, a federal judge determined Jan. 31 (Gerald H. Hawkins, et al. v. David L. Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-1498, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16626).

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