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Mealey's Water Rights

  • February 7, 2018

    11 State Attorneys General Sue To Vacate New Clean Water Rule

    NEW YORK — A coalition of 11 state attorneys general on Feb. 6 asked a New York federal court to vacate the Trump administration’s recent suspension of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, saying the action was taken illegally and that allowing enforcement of the Clean Water Rule to revert back to old definitions will harm the states’ waterways (New York, et al. v. E. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 18-1030, S.D. N.Y.).

  • February 7, 2018

    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 7, 2018

    Texas Water District Sues Aquifer Authority For Exceeding Mandate

    UVALDE, Texas — A Texas water district on Jan. 16 sued an aquifer authority in state court, alleging that the authority is exceeding its authority in ways that could change historical irrigation rights and sources (Uvalde County Underground Water Conservancy District, et al. v. Edwards Aquifer Authority, et al., No. 2018-01-31972-CV, Texas Dist., 38th Jud. Dist., Uvalde Co.).

  • February 7, 2018

    United States Asks Courts To Slow Down Clean Water Rule Cases Pending New Rule

    In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 22 ruling that challenges to the Clean Water Rule belong in federal district courts from the start and not in federal appeals courts, the United States last month began notifying circuit and district courts that the revised rule will not go into effect for two years and may be revised yet again (Georgia, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Brunswick Div.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Water Protestors Dismissed From Lawsuit After Judge Finds It Was A SLAPP Suit

    YREKA, Calif. — A California state court judge on Jan. 23 dismissed a citizen’s group and its members from a water rights lawsuit after finding that the inclusion of the group and its individual members constituted a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) (Roseburg Forest Products Company, Inc. v. Weed, et al., No. SC CV CV 1700532, Calif. Super., Siskiyou Co.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Arizona Federal Judge Says United States Didn’t Waive Sovereign Immunity

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Jan. 12 dismissed a cross-claim against the United States by a water district in a lawsuit by a Native American tribe, saying the United States did not waive its right to sovereign immunity (Ak-Chin Indian Community v. Central Arizona Water Conservation District, et al., No. CV-17-00918-PHX-DGC, D. Ariz.).

  • February 6, 2018

    California Water District Wants Seniority Of Its Water Licenses Declared

    STOCKTON, Calif. — One California water district on Jan. 29 sued another in a dispute over the seniority of licenses to divert water from the Mokelumne River (Woodbridge Irrigation District v. East Bay Municipal Utility, No.  18-1055, Calif. Super., San Joaquin Co.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota Won’t Oppose Special Master’s Final Report

    STANFORD, Calif. — Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota on Jan. 19 told the U.S. Supreme Court that they will not take exception to a Jan. 10 special master’s final report adjudicating their interstate water dispute and asked the high court to enter a judgment and decree as soon as possible (Montana v. Wyoming, et al., No. 137, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Idaho Supreme Court: Water Right Wasn’t Forfeited For 5 Years

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Jan. 9 affirmed a lower court ruling that dismissed a claim that a property owner forfeited his water right by not using it for five years (Chad Barnes, et al. v. Kirk Jackson, No. 44894, Idaho Sup., 2018 Ida. LEXIS 8).

  • February 2, 2018

    Water Suit Against California City Must Include Other Users, Appeals Court Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — The city of San Buenaventura must be allowed to file a cross-complaint against other entities that draw water from the Ventura River watershed to address a demand by an environmental group that the city take less water to protect an endangered fish, a California appeals court panel ruled Jan. 30 (Santa Barbara Channelkeeper v. City of San Buenaventura, No. A146573, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 77).

  • January 26, 2018

    Nevada Federal Judge Orders Water District To Repay Tribe For Diversions

    RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Jan. 18 entered judgment requiring a water district to repay a Native American tribe 344,208 acre-feet of water over 20 years for improper diversions (United States of America v. Board of Directors, et al., No. 95-757, D. Nev.).

  • January 22, 2018

    U.S. Supreme Court Says Challenges To Clean Water Rule Belong In District Courts

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 unanimously ruled that challenges to the Clean Water Rule belong in federal district courts from the start and not in federal appeals courts (National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, et al., No. 16-299, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 10, 2018

    Oregon Water District Appeals $161,170 Judgment For Shorting Farmer’s Water

    SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon irrigation district on Dec. 29 appealed a $161,170 verdict that it miscalculated the amount of water it supplied to a farmer in 2014 and 2015, resulting in crop losses (Delos Lee, et al. v. Owyhee Irrigation District, No. n/a, Ore. App.).

  • January 10, 2018

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

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

  • January 10, 2018

    United States Says Tribe Missed Statute Of Limitations For Its Water Takings Claim

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States on Dec. 20 told a federal appeals court that a Native American tribe missed the statute of limitations to claim injury from construction of decades-old dams and said the federal government has no duty to provide compensation for any loss of water the tribe may have experienced because of the dams (Crow Creek Sioux Tribe v. United States, No. 17-2340, Fed. Cir.).

  • January 10, 2018

    United States, Water District Settle 66-Year-Old Water Suit Over Camp Pendleton

    SAN DIEGO — A 66-year-old water rights lawsuit by the United States against a public utility around Marine Corps Camp Pendleton has been settled, the water district disclosed Dec. 11 in a memo to its board of directors (United States of America v. Fallbrook Public Utility District, et al., No. 51-1247, S.D. Calif.).

  • January 10, 2018

    New Mexico Judge Finds Water Rights At Old Copper Mine Were Extinguished Long Ago

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico judge presiding over the Lower Rio Grande Adjudication on Dec. 28 ruled that water rights claimed by a copper-mining corporation and two individuals were extinguished because under state law, no water has been put to beneficial use for 36 years (State of New Mexico, et al. v. Elephant Butte Irrigation District, et al., No. CV-96-888, Subfiles No. 307-OA-9703126, No. 307-OA-9702236, No. 307-OA-9702237, N.M. Dist., Dona Ana Co.).

  • January 10, 2018

    Klamath Project Farmers Appeal Dismissal Of Their Federal Takings Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Farmers from Oregon and California on Dec. 28 appealed the entry of judgment against their claims that the federal government took their water from the Klamath Project and used it to preserve stream habitat for endangered fish (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, No. 01-591, Fed. Clms.).

  • January 10, 2018

    Trial Claiming Water District Endangered Fish, Birds Under Way In California

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Trial got under way on Dec. 12 in California federal court on claims by a Native American organization and an environmental advocacy group that the operation of a dam by a water district has killed off certain fish and an endangered bird in and around the Santa Clara River (Wishtoyo Foundation, et al. v. United Water Conservation District, No. 16-3869, C.D. Calif., Southern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213759).

  • January 9, 2018

    Nevada Supreme Court: Junior Water Rights Holders Must Be Notified About Hearing

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on Dec. 28 said due process requires that junior water rights holders in the state’s Diamond Valley be given notice and the opportunity be heard at an upcoming show-cause hearing that could result in the curtailment of their water rights (Eureka County, et al. v. The Seventh Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, et al., No. 72317, Nev. Sup., 2017 Nev. LEXIS 142).