SAN JOAQUIN, Calif. — A California appeals court on Sept. 23 said a trial court did not err in ruling that the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) is immune from a county ordinance regulating exploratory drilling for a state water project in the California Delta.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two northern California water districts on Sept. 2 sued the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in state court, arguing that the board’s recent water curtailment order for pre- and post-1914 water diverters violates due process.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Sept. 22 affirmed a trial court’s denial of mandates and attorney fees in challenges to the “Monterey” changes in long-term water supply contracts involving California’s Central Water Project and State Water Project.
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Water Authority on Sept. 30 announced in a press release that the directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California decided to pay damages and statutory interest of about $36 million for illegal water charges from 2015 to 2017.
LOS ANGELES — The Imperial Irrigation District (Imperial) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) on Sept. 16 settled two California state court lawsuits alleging that Metropolitan violated state environmental laws and converted Imperial’s water for its own use.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The trial of Texas’ water claims against New Mexico and Colorado got under way on Oct. 4 before a U.S. Supreme Court special master.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on Sept. 21 affirmed a judgment and a peremptory writ of mandate issued by a lower court ordering the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California not to impose certain water “wheeling” charges against the San Diego County Water Authority.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Equitable apportionment of groundwater underlying Mississippi and Tennessee was a question asked of Mississippi by several U.S. Supreme Court justices during arguments on Oct. 4, and Mississippi’s attorney said that while the state continues to disclaim that remedy, it might seek it depending on how the court rules on a special master’s report.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Sept. 17 signed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai-Montana Compact, formally executing the Montana Water Rights Protection Act and improving the tribes’ access to water within the Flathead Reservation, according to an Interior Department press release.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 15 dismissed five claims in a Native American tribe’s water rights complaint against the United States and Utah and transferred the remaining claims to a Utah federal court.
New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 6 denied a motion by eight states and three industry associations to strike plaintiffs’ response to a United States motion to remand a Clean Water Rule case to federal agencies without vacatur.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 ignored the Environmental Protection Agency’s reversal in a Clean Water Act (CWA) enforcement action and said that a federal district court properly granted the agency summary judgment against Idaho property owners who claimed that the CWA did not apply to wetlands on a property they own.
FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Aug. 24 said a class of “small water pumpers” in a groundwater adjudication is entitled to attorney fees and costs but reversed a court’s $2.5 million award because it is “contradictory in terms of the amounts taxes and awarded.”
ATLANTA — Writing, “Decades of deferral and delay due to litigation should end,” a Georgia federal judge on Aug. 11 denied challenges by Alabama and three environmental groups to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Water Control Manual for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Finding that a nonprofit water company’s fee requirements for water services to a housing development were “excessive, unreasonable, and confiscatory,” an Oklahoma federal judge on Aug. 16 said the developer is not required to use the water company and can use another water provider.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on Sept. 1 granted the United States’ motion to remand a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s Clean Water Rule without vacating the rule, acknowledging that days earlier an Arizona federal judge did vacate the rule.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 3 enjoined a county from enforcing two water ordinances because she said they appear to discriminate against Hmong residents of the rural county and deprive them of water.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three northern California irrigation districts on Sept. 1 filed a complaint in state court against the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), saying the board’s Aug. 20 curtailment of the districts’ water rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed (the California Delta) is contrary to law, without factual basis and in violation of due process rights.
TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 30 granted a voluntary motion for remand filed by defendants U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an action brought by Native American tribes seeking to reinstate the repealed 2015 Clean Water Rule and vacate a navigable waters rule. The judge also ordered that, upon remand, the Trump-era rules in place be vacated.