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Mealey's Water Rights

  • February 13, 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.

  • February 13, 2019

    New California Governor Supports 1-Tunnel Design For WaterFix Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In his first State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsome, D., on Feb. 12 said he supports a single tunnel for the state’s WaterFix project, a move that could substantially lower the project’s $15 billion price.

  • February 13, 2019

    Lake Users Association Sues California County For Inverse Condemnation

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — An association of people who use a large California lake on Jan. 15 sued Monterey County and related entities in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, alleging inverse condemnation for drawing more water from the lake than permitted by the state when the lake was created (Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee v. Monterey County Water Resources Agency, et al., No. 19CVP-0010, Calif. Super., San Luis Obispo Co.).

  • February 13, 2019

    California Fisherman, Tribe Sue Water Department, United States Over Water Project

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Four fishermen’s groups and a Native American tribe on Jan. 16 sued the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, alleging that recent agreements between the two defendants violate the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other water project enabling agreements (North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al. v. Department of Water Resources, et al., No. 34-2019-80003057, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

  • February 13, 2019

    Nevada Federal Judge Won’t Reconsider Restitution Order Against Water District

    RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 4 denied a motion to reconsider an order requiring a water district to replace water it wrongfully diverted from a river, saying that the motion is untimely and that the court’s action was for restitution under a water settlement agreement and not designed to punish the water district (United States v. Board of Directors of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, et al., No. 95-757, D. Nev.).

  • February 13, 2019

    California County, State Urge State High Court To Rule On Well Permitting Standard

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California county and the state environmental department on Jan. 14 told the state Supreme Court that it should find that the permitting of water wells is not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Res. Code § 21000 et seq. (Protecting Our Water & Environmental Resources, et al. v. Stanislaus County, et al., No. S251709, Calif. Sup.).

  • February 13, 2019

    Utah High Court Says It Lacks Jurisdiction Over Water Rights Adjudication Appeal

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court on Jan. 11 dismissed an appeal from a water rights adjudication because the plaintiff lacked standing to challenge the state engineer’s determination as it applies to other water rights holders (EnerVest, Ltd. v. Utah State Engineer, et al., No. 20160394, Utah Sup., 2019 Utah LEXIS 2).

  • February 12, 2019

    Judge: Most Freedom Of Information Exceptions Apply To Nestle Forest Water Permit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 4 ruled that the U.S. Forest Service was justified in invoking some Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exceptions but not others in an environmental group’s challenge of Nestle Waters North America Inc.’s license to take water from the San Bernardino National Forest (Story of Stuff Project v. United States Forest Service, No. 18-170, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17158).

  • February 12, 2019

    Arizona Appeals Court Reverses Summary Judgment In Water Service Case

    PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals panel on Feb. 5 vacated summary judgment in a water service dispute between the city of Prescott and two out-of-town property owners because a jury could find that the city had left the matter open (Hidden Heights LLC, et al. v. Prescott, Arizona, No. 1 CA-CV 18-0160, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2019 Ariz. App. LEXIS 110).

  • February 4, 2019

    California Appeals Court Affirms Attorney Fee Award In Environmental Challenge

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Jan. 31 affirmed an attorney fees award in a water project case, agreeing with a trial court that the plaintiffs’ action conferred a significant benefit on the general public and that the plaintiffs were allowed to privately enforce state environmental law (Oakdale Groundwater Alliance, et al. v. Oakdale Irrigation District, No. F077281, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 788).

  • February 4, 2019

    Intervenors Drop Appeal Of Injunction Against Suspension Of Clean Water Rule

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Eighteen agricultural and business organizations on Feb. 1 notified the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that they have voluntarily dismissed their appeal of a federal district court order that vacated and enjoined the Trump administration’s so-called “Suspension Rule” for the Clean Water Rule:  Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015 (South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 18-1964, 4th Cir.).

  • January 30, 2019

    California Appeals Court Affirms Denial Of Challenge To Water Rate Increase

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Jan. 28 affirmed dismissal of an agricultural association’s lawsuit that sought to overturn water rate increases enacted by a water district during the state’s four-year drought (Goleta Ag Preservation v. Goleta Water District, No. B277227, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 648).

  • January 30, 2019

    Former High Court Special Master In Florida/Georgia Case Dies

    PORTLAND, Maine — Ralph I. Lancaster, the Maine lawyer who up until August was the special master in Florida’s U.S. Supreme Court water rights lawsuit against Georgia, died Jan. 22, according to Lancaster’s law firm.

  • January 30, 2019

    Colorado Supreme Court: Water Courts Deal With Water Use, Not Rights Ownership

    DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Jan. 22 affirmed dismissal of a state water court case, saying the case did not involve the use of water but rather property rights to shares in a water ditch company (Sam A. Allen v. Colorado, No. 17SA220, Colo. Sup., 2019 Colo. LEXIS 65).

  • January 16, 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.

  • January 16, 2019

    Water District Sues State Water Board To Block New Bay Delta River Flow Plan

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A northern California water district on Jan. 11 filed a mandamus action seeking to have a state court set aside the recent amended to the Bay Delta plan, saying its minimum water flows for three rivers will result in a shortfall of water for district customers (Santa Clara Valley Water District v. California State Water Resource Control Board, et al., No. n/a, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

  • January 15, 2019

    Evidentiary Hearing In Mississippi / Tennessee Water Case Off Until May 20

    CINCINNATI — Due to a medical problem with one witness, a U.S. Supreme Court special master on Jan. 14 granted a motion by plaintiff Mississippi to continue and reschedule an evidentiary hearing from Jan. 15 to May 20 (Mississippi v. Tennessee, et al., No. 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 15, 2019

    Utah Appeals Court Affirms Judgment Against 2 Water Users Against City, District

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 10 affirmed judgment against two water claimants, agreeing that their water rights are limited by a 1934 agreement by their predecessors and by nonuse of the water rights (Salt Lake City Corp. v. Mark C. Haik, et al., No. 20170238-CA, Utah App., 2019 Utah App. Lexis 3).

  • January 15, 2019

    California Appeals Court: Carlsbad Groundwater Subject To State Water Authority

    LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on Dec. 20 affirmed a lower court ruling that groundwater in the state’s Mission water basin is a subterranean stream and is subject to the permitting authority of the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) (Carlsbad, et al. v. California State Water Resources Control Board, No. B283861, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8628).

  • January 14, 2019

    California Appeals Court Reverses Ruling On Use, Transfer Of Water Under Decree

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Third District Court of Appeal on Dec. 12 reversed a trial court ruling that a 1920 water rights decree limited when an owner could use its water and prohibited it from transferring its share of water outside the watershed (Orange Cove Irrigation District v. Los Molinos Mutual Water Company, Nos. C078323 and C078888, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 1143).