New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on April 9 issued a trial management order setting Sept. 13 as the trial start date in the Texas-New Mexico-Colorado interstate water dispute.
DENVER — Six environmental groups on April 27 appealed to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a district court’s dismissal of their challenge to a dam permit for lack of district court jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act (FPA).
SALINAS, Calif. — A California state court judge on April 8 denied a request for interlocutory remand or limited writ of mandate following the judge’s Jan. 21 ruling setting aside a county’s approval for a desalination project to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirement for a “statement of overriding considerations."
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia federal appeals court on May 10 denied a petition to rehear a panel’s March 19 decision and to certify to the Oregon Supreme Court the question of whether a federal court cannot invalidate a protocol between a federal government and a Native American tribe to take decisions about the tribe’s water rights away from Oregon state officials and give that authority to the federal government.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Third District Court of Appeal on April 30 said a water decree watermaster and a state superior court did not err in interpreting that the word “or” in an exception in a 1940 water decree that allows a water right holder to simultaneously divert and store water from the Susan River.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a California irrigation district on April 9 waived its right to respond to a petition for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, the high court on April 26 requested that the irrigation district file a response to a farmer’s petition asking the high court to rule on whether an irrigation district may abrogate the water rights of farmers and whether the farmers have federally protected water rights under federal law.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on April 12 announced the appointment of 24 members of the recently created Commission to Study the Adjudication of Water Law Cases.
MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on May 6 denied motions by a Native American tribe to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s management of water in the Klamath Basin, saying that given continuing drought conditions and competing interests of multiple parties, the bureau has consulted with all interested parties and is doing the best it can under the circumstances.
PASADENA, Calif. — A 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decree establishing water rights to the Colorado River does not strip a federal court of jurisdiction to decide the Navajo Nation’s breach of trust claim against the Department of the Interior (DOI) for allegedly mismanaging the tribe’s water resources, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 28 in reversing and remanding so the tribe can amend its complaint.
SAN DIEGO — The Vallecitos Water District and the San Diego Water Authority on April 22 jointly announced a settlement in Vallecitos’ lawsuit over whether the authority delivers to Vallecitos desalinated water and how much it charges for the deliveries.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 15 granted defendants’ summary judgment in a suit in which two environmental groups sought an order to release more water from a dam for an endangered fish species, saying congressional authorization for the dam strictly limits the uses of the stored water.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 14 distributed for its April 30 conference a petition by a California farmer to rule on whether an irrigation district may abrogate the water rights of farmers and whether the farmers have federally protected water rights under federal law.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on April 23 told Nestle Waters North America Inc. that it must cease and desist from the unauthorized diversion of water from Strawberry Creek in the San Bernardino National Forest or face fines of up to $10,000 a day during a declared drought.
DENVER — Parties in a federal appeal involving a proposed Colorado dam on April 21 signed a settlement agreement in which a water district agreed to pay $15 million for projects to protect aquatic and riparian habitats and to improve water quality in areas affected by the dam.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on April 15 said an appeal of a state engineer’s order affecting a water basin was properly transferred to a neighboring county where nine other appeals were filed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California farmer on March 29 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether an irrigation district may abrogate the water rights of farmers and whether the farmers have federally protected water rights under federal law.
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a water district’s financial support for the former California WaterFix project, saying that the main defendant hadn’t yet taken any action that would raise water rates or taxes and that the project has been abandoned.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia federal appeals court on March 19 said a federal court cannot invalidate a protocol between the federal government and a Native American tribe to take decisions about the tribe’s water rights away from Oregon state officials and give that authority to the federal government.
AMARILLO, Texas — A Texas state appeals court on March 30 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a water authority physically took part of a landowner’s property without payment of adequate compensation and owned $506,496 in damages to the landowner.