Mealey's Water Rights

  • December 13, 2019

    Special Master Recommends High Court Not Grant Florida’s Interstate Water Request

    SANTA FE, N.M — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Dec. 11 recommended that the high court not grant Florida’s request for a decree equitably apportioning the waters of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint (ACF) basins because the evidence in the six-year-old case doesn’t show Florida was harmed by Georgia (State of Florida v. State of Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Utah Appeals Court Affirms Family’s Water Easement, Says Neighbors Forfeited Rights

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 affirmed that a family that holds a water easement across a neighboring property dating back to the 1880s holds a water easement across a neighboring property and that the neighbors forfeited their water rights by failing to put them to beneficial use (Ross and Norma Allen Family Trust, et al. v. Jeffrey Holt, et al., No. 20180614-CA, Utah App., 2019 Ut. App. 197).

  • December 11, 2019

    2 Water Agencies Oppose Tribe’s Amended Complaint In Groundwater Suit

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Two California water districts on Nov. 25 told a federal court that a Native American tribe is trying to expand its groundwater lawsuit now that the court has narrowed the case to one issue (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, et al., No. 13-883, C.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss United States’ Water Suit Against California’s Delta Plan

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Dec. 2 denied a motion by the state to dismiss a federal government lawsuit related to a water quality plan for the state’s so-called Delta area and ordered additional briefing on federal immunity (United States v. State Water Resources Control Board, et al., No. 19-547, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207360).

  • December 11, 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.

  • December 11, 2019

    Environmental Group Urges Stay Of Trial Pending Biological Opinion Challenge

    FRESNO, Calif. — Environmental plaintiffs in a California fish takings case on Dec. 2 asked a federal court to stay a claim and stay judgment on three other claims until the validity of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2019 biological opinion (BiOp) is determined in separate litigation (Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 05-1207, E.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    6 Environmental Groups: Political Appointees Hijacked California Biological Opinions

    SAN FRANCISCO — Six environmental groups on Dec. 2 sued two cabinet secretaries and four executive brand agencies alleging that they violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S. Code. ch. 5, subch. I § 500 et seq., and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S. Code, § 1531 et seq., by changing federal biological opinions for political reasons and in ways that will harm endangered river fish in northern California (Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, et al. v. Wilbur Ross, et al., No. 19-7897, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Michigan Appeals Court: Nestle Water Pump Isn’t A Public Service Or Essential

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Appeals on Dec. 3 reversed a lower court order that would have resulted in a permit for a water pumping station for Nestle Waters Northern America Inc.’s water bottling operation near Evart, Mich. (Nestle Waters North America, Inc. v. Township of Osceola, No. 341881, Mich. App., 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 7659).

  • December 11, 2019

    Environmentalists File 60-Day Notice Of Intent To Sue Military For River’s Overuse

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Center for Biological Diversity, the Maricopa Audubon Society and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club on Dec. 3 filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for withdrawing too much water for a fort from the San Pedro River basin and endangering protected species in and around the river basin.

  • December 09, 2019

    High Court Special Master: Deny Water Case Intervention By ‘Pre-Federal’ Claimants

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Dec.3 recommended that the high court deny a motion by so-called pre-federal claimants to intervene in an interstate water lawsuit by Texas against New Mexico and Colorado (Texas v. New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 09, 2019

    High Court Will Not Review Clean Water Act Ruling For Dam Relicensing

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 9 denied a request for certiorari by two fishing groups over a ruling in favor of an Indian tribe and others that California and Oregon lost their authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to issue water quality certificates for dams awaiting federal license renewal when requests for certification were not fulfilled by the states within one year (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 15, 2019

    Federal Circuit:  Tribal Water Rights Didn’t Result In ‘Taking’ Farmers’ Water

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 affirmed a Federal Claims Court ruling that federally reserved tribal water rights and compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) did not result in the unconstitutional taking of water from Oregon and California farmers in 2001 when irrigation water deliveries were halted (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 18-1323 and 18-1325, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33930).

  • November 15, 2019

    Fishing Groups Plead For High Court Review Of Clean Water Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s water quality will suffer drastically if states waive their authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to issue water quality certificates for dams awaiting federal license renewal whenever requests for certification are not fulfilled in a year, as a federal circuit court ruled, two fishing groups argue in a Nov. 6 reply in support of their U.S. Supreme Court petition (California Trout, et al. v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, et al., No. 19-257, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Massachusetts Land Court: 1985 Water Law Repealed 1884 Law, Claims Under Latter

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts Land Court judge on Oct. 11 ruled that two towns’ claims to surface water from a pond under an 1884 law were extinguished when the state passed a superseding water management law in 1985 (Town of Concord v. Littleton Water Department, et al., No. 18 Misc. 000596, Mass. Land Ct., 2019 Mass. LCR LEXIS 197).

  • November 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.

  • November 13, 2019

    Magistrate Judge Allows 2 Tribes To Intervene In Water Suit, File Dismissal Motion

    MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal magistrate judge on Nov. 6 granted a motion by two native American tribes to intervene in two lawsuits involving U.S. Bureau of Reclamation changes to the Klamath water project for the limited purpose of filing a motion to dismiss the cases (Klamath Irrigation District, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al., Nos. 19-451 and 19-531, D. Ore., Medford Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192741).

  • November 13, 2019

    Nevada Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Denial Of Domestic Well Permits

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on Nov. 5 heard arguments about whether the state engineer had authority to deny the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump, Nev. (Tim Wilson, P.E., et al. v. Pahrump Fair Water, LLC, et al., No. 77722, Nev. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Supreme Court Special Master Hears Argument In Florida-Georgia Water Case

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Nov. 7 heard arguments in Florida’s interstate water lawsuit against Georgia (Florida v. Georgia, No. 142, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2019

    Idaho Supreme Court Affirms Water Rights Ruling On Res Judicata

    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Oct. 28 unanimously affirmed a trial court ruling that the claims by two parties to water rights on a third party’s property are barred by res judicata because they were part of a water basin adjudication (First Security Corporation v. Belle Ranch, LLC, et al., Nos. 46144 and 46147, Idaho Sup., 2019 Ida. LEXIS 193).

  • November 13, 2019

    Clean Water Rule Repeal Generates 2 Lawsuits Immediately After Publication

    Within two days of the publication of the Trump administration’s repeal of the Clean Water Rule, at least two federal lawsuits were filed against the United States to stop the rule or to have pre-rule regulations declared illegal.