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Mealey's Water Rights

  • September 14, 2018

    Texas Federal Judge Enjoins Clean Water Rule In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi

    GALVESTON, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Sept. 12 temporarily enjoined enforcement of the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015, in the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi (Texas, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-162, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div.).

  • September 13, 2018

    Interlocutory Appeal OK’d To Decide If Tribes’ Water Rights Were Snuffed By Spain

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Sept. 11 sent the “first impression” question of whether three Native American tribes’ aboriginal water rights were extinguished merely by the imposition of Spanish authority and without any affirmative act to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to answer (United States, et al. v. Tom Abousleman, et al., No. 6:83-cv-1041, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155413).

  • September 12, 2018

    Suspension Rule Decision Triggers Injunction, Judgment Motions In Cases Elsewhere

    Following the Aug. 16 nationwide injunction against the Trump administration’s “Suspension Rule” for the effective date of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, four federal courts were asked to reopen cases challenging the rule, to issue a preliminary injunction against the rule or to grant plaintiffs summary judgment (Georgia, et al. v. Andrew Sheeler, et al., No. 15-79, S.D. Ga., Ohio v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-2467, S.D. Ohio, Texas v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-162, S.D. Texas, Oklahoma v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-381, N.D. Okla.).

  • September 12, 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.

  • September 12, 2018

    California County Sues Los Angeles For Curtailing Water For City-Owned Land

    BRIDGEPORT, Calif. — A California county on Aug. 15 asked a state court to issue a writ of mandate directing Los Angeles to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) before it proceeds with any plans to reduce water to land in Mono County owned by Los Angeles (Mono v. Los Angeles, et al., No. CV180078, Calif. Super., Mono Co.).

  • September 11, 2018

    Washington State Court Reinstates Approval Of Groundwater Change/Transfer

    PROSSER, Wash. — A Washington state court on Aug. 2. reinstated a decision of a county water conservancy board approving a change/transfer of a ground water certificate, reversing a contrary ruling by the state Pollution Control Hearings Board (Loyal Pig, LLC, et al. v. Washington, et al., No. 18-2-00592-0, Wash. Super., Benton Co.).

  • September 11, 2018

    Oregon Water Department Ordered To Distribute Upper Klamath Lake Water

    MARION, Ore. — An Oregon state court judge on Aug. 15 ordered the Oregon Water Resources Department to take charge of Upper Klamath Lake for the purpose of dividing and distributing the later in accordance with state water rights priority (Klamath Irrigation District v. Oregon Water Resources Department, et al., No. 18CV112, Ore. Cir., Marion Co.).

  • September 11, 2018

    Utah High Court: Landowner Lacks Standing To Challenge Water Change Application

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah landowner who has been trying for almost 20 years to get water for his proposed residential development lacks standing to challenge an unrelated water change application, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Aug. 7 (Mark Charles Haik v. Kent L. Jones, et al., No. 20160878, Utah Sup., 2018 Utah LEXIS 118).

  • September 11, 2018

    California Appeals Court: Public Trust Doctrine Still Rules Groundwater Permits

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California state appeals court on Aug. 29 ruled that the public trust doctrine still applies to county-issued permits for groundwater extraction and is not supplanted by the state’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) (Environmental Law Foundation, et al. v. State Water Resources Control Board, et al., No. C083239, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 775).

  • August 24, 2018

    Federal Circuit Says Tribe Failed To Show Any Injury To Its Water Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed dismissal of a South Dakota Native American tribe’s water takings claims against the United States, agreeing with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that the tribe had not pleaded that it was not getting the water it is entitled to and has suffered no injury (Crow Creek Sioux Tribe v. United States, Fed. Cir., No. 17-2340, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2300).

  • August 24, 2018

    Washington City’s Dam Sediment Suit Dismissed, May Have Been Settled

    TACOMA, Wash. — The city of Port Angeles, Wash., on Aug. 14 voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit alleging that the United States breached a dam-removal law and memorandum of understanding by failing to address water quality problems that the city said were interfering with its water right (Port Angeles v. United States, et al., No. 18-5603, W.D. Wash., Tacoma).

  • August 17, 2018

    10th Circuit Reverses Water Adjudication Ruling, Siding With 4 New Mexico Tribes

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reversed a district court’s ruling in a New Mexico water adjudication and remanded the case for entry of an order dismissing about 800 objections to a settlement (New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer, et al. v. Nansy Carson, et al., No. 17-2147, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22609).

  • August 17, 2018

    Judge Issues Nationwide Injunction Against Suspension Of Clean Water Rule Date

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Aug. 16 issued a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration’s “Suspension Rule” that purportedly delays implementation of the Clean Water Rule until 2020 while a new rule is written (South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, et al. v. E. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 18-330, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138595).

  • August 13, 2018

    Supreme Court Replaces Special Master In Florida/Georgia Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 9 discharged Ralph I. Lancaster as the special master in Florida’s groundwater lawsuit against Georgia and appointed Senior Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as the new special master (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 10, 2018

    Unquantified Federal Water Rights Are Due No Recognition, Arizona High Court Says

    PHOENIX — In a fractured ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court on Aug. 9 held that the state’s water law does not require the state water resources department to consider unquantified federal reserved water rights when it determines whether a developer has an adequate water supply (Robin Silver, M.D., et al. v. Pueblo Del Sol Water Company, et al., No. CV-16-0294-PR, Ariz. Sup., 2018 Ariz. LEXIS 226).

  • August 8, 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.

  • August 8, 2018

    Texas, United States Answer New Mexico’s Counterclaims In High Court Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas and the United States on July 20 and July 23 answered counterclaims filed by New Mexico in its U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit involving alleged violations of the Rio Grande Compact (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 7, 2018

    Tribes’ Suit Over Irrigation Water Transferred From California To Oregon

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 25 denied a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s operation of the Klamath Irrigation Project and transferred a Native American tribe’s lawsuit against Reclamation to the Oregon federal court, saying the case has more in common with Oregon than California (Klamath Tribes v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, No. 18-3078, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124741).

  • August 7, 2018

    United States Tells Another Court To Wait On Clean Water Rule Injunction

    CINCINNATI — The United States on July 24 asked another federal court to hold in abeyance plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction against the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015, saying the government’s subsequent Applicability Rule acts to delay the Clean Water Rule until 2020, by which time the government may have a replacement rule (Ohio, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-2467, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).

  • August 7, 2018

    California Water Wholesaler Must Pay Water Authority $28.67M, Judge Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California state court judge on July 25 ordered the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) to pay the San Diego County Water Authority $28.67 million plus interest for overcharging water transportation costs, with possibly more in restitution and attorney fees (San Diego County Water Authority v. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., Nos. CPF-10-510830 and CPF-12-512466, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).