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Mealey's Water Rights

  • June 12, 2019

    California Sues Water District To Stop Work On Raising Height Of The Shasta Dam

    REDDING, Calif. — The state of California and six environmental groups on May 13 separately sued the Westlands Water District to prevent it from raising the height of the Shasta Dam in violation of the state’s wild and scenic river protection law (California, et al. v. Westlands Water District, et al., No. 19-0192487, and Friends of the River, et al. v. Westlands Water District, et al., No. 19-0192490, Calif. Super., Shasta Co.).

  • June 12, 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.

  • June 12, 2019

    Georgia Water Authority, Army Corps Reach Agreement On Water Storage Accounting

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on June 3 stayed a water accounting lawsuit between the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the parties on May 28 told the court that they agreed to a stay while the Army Corps performs a water reallocation study and evaluation of its accounting method (Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 17-400, N.D. Ga., Atlanta Div.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Ohio, Tennessee Appeal Clean Water Rule Injunction Denial To 6th Circuit

    CINCINNATI — After a 1-1/2-year detour, the 2015 Clean Water Rule is back before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after Ohio and Tennessee appealed a district court judge’s denial of a preliminary injunction against the rule (Ohio, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-3500, 6th Cir.).

  • June 12, 2019

    8 California Water Districts Urge Federal Claims Court To Dismiss Takings Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eight California water districts on May 15 told the U.S. Federal Claims Court that it should dismiss a breach of contract and water takings lawsuit by the city of Fresno and 17 other water districts and municipalities against the United States (Fresno, et al. v. United States, No. 16-1276, Fed. Clms.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against 2015 Clean Water Rule

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on May 29 denied a motion by Oklahoma and five business organizations to issue a preliminary injunction against the 2015 federal Clean Water Rule, saying that after four years, the defendants were unable to show that they or any of their constituents would suffer irreparable harm from the law governing discharges into the “waters of the United States” (Oklahoma, ex rel. Mike Hunter, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-381, N.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89677).

  • June 12, 2019

    Nevada Supreme Court Affirms Forfeiture Of Water Right For Nonuse

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — A unanimous Nevada Supreme Court on May 29 agreed that the state engineer did not act in an arbitrary and capricious way when he denied a developer’s request to extend its water right due to nonuse (Mountain Falls Acquisition Corporation v. Nevada, et al., No. 74130, Nev. Sup., 2019 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 614).

  • June 12, 2019

    Mississippi-Tennessee Supreme Court Water Case Hearing Concludes May 30

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on May 30 concluded a four-day hearing on whether Mississippi’s groundwater is an intrastate resource or an interstate resource (Mississippi v. Tennessee, No. 143, Original, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 12, 2019

    Montana High Court: Objectors Didn’t Prove Rights Holder’s Nonuse Of Water

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on May 14 affirmed a Montana Water Court’s rejections of objections filed by two water users who claimed that a downstream property owner abandoned his water rights (In Re:  Gene J. Klamert, et al., No. DA 18-0413, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 178).

  • June 12, 2019

    Montana Supreme Court: Water Court Erred In Ruling On Implied Water Use

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on May 21 said a state water court judge erred when he ruled that two water rights holders had not met the state’s standard for showing that their claims implied stockwater rights (Claimants: John R. Sampson, et al., No. DA 18-0689, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 188).

  • June 7, 2019

    Judge Orders California Water Board To Set Aside Drought Water Curtailment Orders

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A California judge on June 6 issued peremptory writs of mandate ordering the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to set aside water curtailment orders issued during the state’s historic drought in May and June 2015 to seven water districts (California Water Curtailment Cases, JCCP No. 4838, No. 2015-1-CV-285182, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

  • June 3, 2019

    U.S. High Court Asks Solicitor General To Weigh In On Texas-New Mexico Water Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 3 asked the U.S. solicitor general for his view on whether the high court should review a river master’s water credit determination in Texas’ lawsuit against New Mexico (Texas v. New Mexico, No. 65, Orig., U.S. Sup.).

  • May 30, 2019

    Texas Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment, Remands 2015 Clean Water Rule For Fix

    GALVESTON, Texas — A Texas federal judge on May 28 became the first to grant summary judgment in a lawsuit challenging the Clean Water Rule: Definition of "Waters of the United States," 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054, June 29, 2015, finding that the federal agencies that finalized the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and remanding the rule to the agencies to take comments on a definitional change (Texas, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-cv-162, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89113).

  • May 15, 2019

    North Dakota Judge Lifts Clean Water Rule Injunction After Colorado Pulls Out

    BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota federal judge on May 14 lifted his preliminary injunction against the Clean Water Rule in the state of Colorado after granting the state’s motion to withdraw as a plaintiff (North Dakota, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-59, D. N.D.).

  • May 15, 2019

    Washington Judge Issues Final Decree In 42-Year Water Rights Adjudication

    YAKIMA, Wash. — A Washington state court judge on May 9 issued a final decree adjudicating water rights in the Yakima River Basin, a process that has taken 42 years and gone through two judges (Washington Department of Ecology v. James J. Acquavella, et al., No. 77-2-01484-5, Wash. Super., Yakima Co.).

  • May 15, 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.

  • May 15, 2019

    Nevada: State Engineer Must Revisit Whether Water Rights Extension Is Speculative

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on May 2 reversed and remanded a water rights extension approval to the state engineer with orders to show why his decision did not violate the state’s anti-speculation rule for water rights (Sierra Pacific Industries v. Tim Wilson, P.E., et al., No. 73933, Nev. Sup., 2019 Nev. LEXIS 24).

  • May 15, 2019

    California Appeals Court Says Water Rights Agreement Didn’t End, Revert To Heir

    SAN FRANCISCO — The First District California Court of Appeal on April 29 ruled that a 1939 agreement giving water rights to the City of Calistoga was not temporary, did not expire and is not null and void with damages due to the heir of the person who made the agreement (Deborah O’Gorman v. City of Calistoga, No. A150972, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2971).

  • May 15, 2019

    Water District Asks Court To Force Other Districts To Do Environmental Analysis

    LOS ANGELES — California’s Imperial Irrigation District on April 18 filed a complaint against four water districts, seeking a court order vacating the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWDSC) agreement to enter the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (LBDCP) and to conduct an environmental analysis of any water shortfall under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Imperial Irrigation District v. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, et al., No. 19STCP01379, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • May 15, 2019

    Montana State Court Reverses Mine Water Permit For Reanalysis Of Availability

    HELENA, Mont. — A Montana state court judge on April 9 reversed a beneficial water use permit issued by the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to silver and copper mining company RC Resources Inc. and ordered the department to reanalyze water availability (Clark Fork Coalition, et al. v. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, et al., No. CDV-2018-150, Mont. Dist., Lewis & Clark Co.).