Mealey's Water Rights

  • December 07, 2021

    New Mexico Appeals Ruling Answers Water User’s Question, Magistrate Judge Says

    SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal magistrate judge on Nov. 12 recommended that a federal judge not certify to the New Mexico Supreme Court a question about whether the use of a water right for a mining operation should be considered in a river basin adjudication because the magistrate judge said a state appeals court answered the question in a Sept. 17 decision.

  • December 03, 2021

    Colorado High Court Affirms Water Court On Merits, Attorney Fee Award

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 15 affirmed a state water court’s jurisdiction to decide a drawn-out dispute over an irrigation ditch, the lower court’s decision on the merits and its award of attorney fees for the “frivolous, vexatious, and litigious” claims of the appellant.

  • December 03, 2021

    Washington High Court Affirms, Reverses Yakima Basin Water Rights Adjudication

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Supreme Court on Nov. 18 affirmed in part and reversed in part a state superior court’s adjudication of certain water rights in the Yakima River Drainage Basin, including those of a Native American tribe whose rights are spelled out in an 1855 treaty (In the Matter of the Determination of the Rights to Use the Surface Waters of the Yakima River Drainage Basin, et al.

  • November 22, 2021

    Supreme Court:  Equitable Apportionment Applies To Use Of Groundwater

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The doctrine of equitable apportionment applies to the use of groundwater from aquifers that lie beneath more than one state, the U.S. Supreme Court held Nov. 22 in deciding for the first time that an aquifer is an interstate water resource that must be shared equitably, just like water from lakes, rivers and streams.

  • November 10, 2021

    Kansas Federal Judge Dismisses Audubon Refuge Water Rights Case

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on Oct. 20 dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit by Audubon of Kansas Inc. against the U.S. Department of Interior and the Kansas Department of Agriculture because the state has immunity and because the United States has taken no final agency action with regard to water rights in a federal wildlife refuge.

  • November 10, 2021

    California Governor Proclaims Statewide Drought Emergency

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 19 signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency due to drought in the state’s eight remaining counties. 

  • November 09, 2021

    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 09, 2021

    Los Angeles Appeals Court’s CEQA Mandate As Premature, Illegal

    SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles on Oct. 14 told a California appeals court that a trial court erred in finding that a water allocation to ranchers leasing city land in an adjoining county and a study of a new type of lease without water allocation are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act.

  • November 09, 2021

    Federal Claims Court Judge: Habitat Project Didn’t Take Property, Cause Flooding

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a May bench trial, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge on Oct. 25 ruled that a federal habitat restoration project in a wildlife refuge in Nevada did not cause flooding of a church’s retreat and rehabilitation camp and that the government thus did not take property under the Fifth Amendment.

  • November 09, 2021

    California Federal Judge Vacates Trump Clean Water Rule, Remands Suit To EPA

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Oct. 21 remanded three Clean Water Rule cases to the Environmental Protection Agency but vacated the 2020 version of the rule enacted during the Trump administration.

  • November 09, 2021

    Texas Appeals Court: 18 Irrigation Districts Didn’t Exhaust Administrative Remedy

    EDINBURG, Texas — A Texas appeals court on Oct. 21 affirmed a lower court ruling that 18 irrigation districts had not exhausted their administrative remedy concerning past water charges made by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

  • November 08, 2021

    Texas Appeals Court Affirms Takings Claim For Flooding Caused By Dam Release

    HOUSTON — A Texas state appeals court on Nov. 4 dismissed an inverse condemnation claim by 34 property owners against the San Jacinto River Authority for flooding their properties by a release of water from an upstream dam but affirmed a lower court ruling allowing claims of unconstitutional taking.

  • November 05, 2021

    California State Judge Won’t Validate Water District’s Contract With Reclamation

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California state court judge on Oct. 27 issued a tentative ruling denying a renewed motion by the Westlands Water District to validate its contract with the United States for water service from the Central Valley Project and repayment of loans from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, finding that the district “failed to show any new or different facts, circumstances, or law that would justify the renewal of its prior motion.”

  • October 22, 2021

    Oregon Ranchers Ask High Court To Review Tribe’s Ability To Cut Off Irrigation Water

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of Oregon ranchers on Oct. 5 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse lower court rulings that say they have no standing to challenge a protocol that they say allows a Native American tribal nation to cut off their irrigation water in the Klamath River Basin.

  • October 12, 2021

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • October 12, 2021

    New Mexico Appeals Court Affirms, Reverses Water Rights Adjudication For Mine

    SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico appeals court panel on Sept. 17 affirmed in part and reversed in part a state adjudication court’s rulings on water rights involving a once and future copper mine.

  • October 12, 2021

    New Mexico Federal Judge Vacates Trump Clean Water Rule, Remands To Agencies

    SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Sept. 27 vacated the Trump administration’s 2020 Clean Water Rule and remanded an Indian tribe’s case to the Environmental Protection Agency, where a new rule is under development.

  • October 12, 2021

    Pennsylvania Court: Broke City Can Try To Seize Assets Of Namesake Water Agency

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a 5-2 ruling, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Sept. 16 said a financially distressed city has power to seek the assets of a water authority it created in 1939 but currently shares with two counties.

  • October 12, 2021

    Georgia Water Supply Case Dismissed After Army Corps Reallocates Reservoir Water

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on Sept. 14 dismissed a water supply case brought by Georgia and two water districts against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the defendant reallocated water and updated water project manuals for Alabama and Georgia.

  • October 12, 2021

    Challenge To Groundwater Incentive Program Stayed Pending Circuit Court Appeal

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 24 granted a motion by two environmental groups and a sportsmen’s association to stay pending appeal his Sept. 14 denial of a preliminary injunction against a groundwater extraction project in the Sacramento River Valley.

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