Mealey's Water Rights

  • September 10, 2019

    Idaho Supreme Court: Lower Court Erred Regarding Irrigation Company Shares

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Aug. 27 said a trial court erred in ruling that the purchaser of a property acquired shares in a nonprofit mutual irrigation corporation because the shares were an appurtenance to the property (Eagle Creek Irrigation Company, Inc. v. A.C. & C.E. Investments, Inc., et al., No. 45675, Idaho Sup., 2019 Ida. LEXIS 134).

  • September 10, 2019

    Judge Dismisses Tribe’s Suit To Find New Water Trust Duties By Federal Government

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. — An Arizona federal court judge on Aug. 23 said the Navajo Nation cannot establish that the federal government has a trust responsibility to determine the quantities and sources of water required for the tribe’s reservation or to secure an adequate water supply for the reservation (Navajo Nation v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 03-507, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143801).

  • September 10, 2019

    5th Circuit: Representation On Aquifer Authority Isn’t Voter Disenfranchisement

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed that a voting scheme for a large aquifer authority does not disenfranchise voters because it has a narrow purpose of ensuring that low-population, high-water use regions get equal representation on the authority board (League of United Latin American Citizens v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, No. 18-50655, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25999).

  • September 10, 2019

    Oral Arguments In High Court Florida-Georgia Water Case Moved Up To October

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Supreme Court special master presiding Florida’s interstate water lawsuit against Georgia on Aug. 29 moved oral arguments about the criteria for equitable apportionment from December to Oct. 17 (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142 Orig., U.S. Sup.).

  • September 10, 2019

    San Diego Water Rate Case To Get 4th Judge After Peremptory Challenge

    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Diego County Water Authority’s state court lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District of California is about to get its fourth judge in nine years after the court on Sept. 6 sustained the authority’s motion for a peremptory disqualification of Judge Teri L. Jackson of the San Francisco County Superior Court (San Diego County Water Authority v. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. CPF-10-510830, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • September 10, 2019

    Business Intervenors Ask Judge To Vacate 2015 Clean Water Rule

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A group of business intervenors in a Sept. 6 brief ask a Georgia federal judge to reconsider his decision not to vacate the 2015 Clean Water Rule and to instead remand it to federal agencies for revamping (State of Georgia, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Brunswick Div.).

  • September 10, 2019

    Judge Won’t Reconsider Ruling On Tribe’s Right To Water Quantity, Quality Claim

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 14 denied a motion by the United States to reconsider his ruling that a Native American tribe lacks standing to assert a claim for how much groundwater it is entitled to, saying the motion is a “thinly veiled attempt to relitigate the summary judgment motions” (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 13-00833, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 09, 2019

    Idaho Supreme Court Partly Reverses Ruling In Tribal Water Rights Case

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Sept. 5 affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court’s ruling on a Native American tribe’s water rights in a water adjudication proceeding (In Re:  Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin Adjudication, [United States and Coeur d’Alene Tribe v. Idaho, et al.], Nos. 45381, 45382, 45383, 45384, Idaho Sup., 2019 Ida. LEXIS 147).

  • September 09, 2019

    Georgia Federal Judge: Clean Water Rule Remanded For Replacement Rule

    BRUNSWICK, Ga.  — A Georgia federal judge on Aug. 21 ruled that the 2015 Clean Water Rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Administrative Procedure Act and she remanded the rule to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while leaving in place her existing preliminary injunction (Georgia, et al. v. Andrew R. Wheeler, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Brunswick Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142151).

  • September 05, 2019

    Water Review Decision For Tribe Under Attack By Anglers’ Groups

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Removing state water quality reviews from the federal licensing process for hydroelectric dams threatens the nation’s waterways and creates confusion among the circuit courts on when states waive their authority to conduct the water studies, two fishing groups battling a ruling in favor of an Indian tribe tell the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 26 petition for certiorari (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3572).

  • August 26, 2019

    Panel Affirms Court Ruling That Landowner Lacks Water Rights Based On Statute

    SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 affirmed a lower court’s decision that a landowner had no water right claim and had only rights to livestock watering, based on a state statute that governs the partial forfeiture of water rights (New Mexico ex rel. Office of the State Engineer v. Toby Romero, No. A-1-CA-36619, 2019 N.M. App. LEXIS 106).

  • August 08, 2019

    U.S. Sugar Sues Over Army Corps’ Lake Releases, Alleges Shortages

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disregarded its own policies and procedures when it lowered water levels in Lake Okeechobee, a Florida lake, causing a “man-made drought,” United States Sugar Corp. alleges in an Aug. 1 complaint filed in a Florida federal court (United States Sugar Corporation v. Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, et al., No. 19-81086, S.D. Fla.).

  • August 08, 2019

    Houston Sues State, Brazos River Authority Over Rights To Water

    AUSTIN, Texas — The city of Houston sued the state of Texas and the Brazos River Authority on July 22 in the Texas 261st Judicial District Court, Travis County, alleging that a recently passed bill requiring it to sell its rights to a proposed reservoir violates the Texas Constitution and exceeds the state’s authority (Houston v. Texas, et al., No. D-1-GN-19-004189, Texas District Court, Travis Co.).

  • August 08, 2019

    United States, California Water Districts Urge Court To Dismiss Takings Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States in a July 1 reply brief urged the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to dismiss a breach of contract and water takings lawsuit against it by the city of Fresno and 17 water districts and municipalities, claiming that because the plaintiffs do not “own a cognizable property interest” in the Central Valley Project, the court lacks jurisdiction over their  claims (Fresno, et al. v. United States, No. 16-1276, Fed. Clms.).

  • August 08, 2019

    San Joaquin County Sues State Agency To Stop Drilling For Tunnel Project

    STOCKTON, Calif. — San Joaquin County, Calif., on July 23 sued the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Gregg Drilling LLC in state court, seeking an injunction against geophysical well-drilling in furtherance of a proposed statewide water supply conveyance infrastructure project within portions of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta (San Joaquin v. California Department of Water Resources, et al., No. STK-CV-UWM-2019-0009452, Calif Super., San Joaquin Co.).

  • August 08, 2019

    Oklahoma Asks 10th Circuit To Reverse Denial Of Clean Water Rule Injunction

    DENVER — Oklahoma and five business associations on Aug. 6 told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge erred by denying a preliminary injunction against the 2015 federal Clean Water Rule “in conflict with the decisions of other courts across the country” (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, et al., No. 19-5055, 10th Cir.).

  • August 08, 2019

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • August 08, 2019

    Tribe, Farmer Battle Over Enforcing Water Theft Damages Award To Tribe

    SALT LAKE CITY — A dispute over the alleged misappropriation of water from an Indian Tribe’s federally protected water right has gone to the summary judgment stage, with the tribe arguing July 29 in response to the defendants’ motion and in reply to its own motion in Utah federal court that a tribal court’s award of damages to the tribe should be enforced based on comity (Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation v. Gregory D. McKee, et al., No. 2:18-cv-314, D. Utah).

  • August 08, 2019

    United States Says All Evidence Must Be Considered For Tribe’s Water Claims

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge should look at all the evidence and reconsider his ruling that a Native American tribe lacks standing to assert water rights claims because the standing issue is an important legal question that the judge “should decide on a complete record,” intervenor the United States says in a Aug. 5 reply brief (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, et al. v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 5:13-cv-883, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 07, 2019

    Montana High Court Affirms City’s Water Cut From 1,500 To 171 Acre-Feet Per Year

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on July 30 affirmed a water court’s decision that a shrinking city was entitled to a lower amount of water because its original volume was largely unused and deemed abandoned (Fort Peck v. Montana, No. DA 18-0697, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 174).

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