Mealey's Water Rights

  • July 01, 2024

    Supreme Court: Rio Grande Consent Decree Would Cut Off Federal Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court denied approval of an interstate water consent decree among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado because it would dispose of third-party claims of the United States.

  • June 28, 2024

    High Court Overrules Chevron Deference, Changes Standard For Regulatory Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 voted 6-3 to overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference as incompatible with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two cases arising out of federal fishing regulations, changing governing precedent for federal courts reviewing agencies’ regulatory actions.

  • May 07, 2024

    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 07, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Group’s Continued FOIA Claims, Says Agency Complied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Saying an environmental group “is having a hard time accepting ‘yes’ for an answer,” a District of Columbia federal judge granted a motion by the U.S. Forest Service to dismiss the group’s continued pressing of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) claim even after getting the documents it requested.

  • May 07, 2024

    Judge: Ski Resort’s Quiet Title Action For Water Rights On Federal Land Time-Barred

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge has dismissed as time-barred a complaint by a ski resort seeking to assert water rights in a national forest through a quiet title action.

  • May 07, 2024

    New Mexico Federal Judge Sets 1900 As Priority Date For Couple’s Water Rights

    SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge has granted summary judgment to the state engineer on the priority date for a couple’s water rights based on the findings of a university historian.

  • May 07, 2024

    Montana High Court: Water Claim Is Part Of School Trust Land Under State Law

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that a water claim is appurtenant to school trust land and that the Montana Water Court correctly added the state as an owner of the water right for the portion used on school trust land.

  • May 07, 2024

    Federal Circuit Remands Tribe’s Water Management Claim Against United States

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit remanded for further proceedings claims by the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation that a 1906 federal law imposes trust duties on the United States to manage existing water infrastructure.

  • April 29, 2024

    Hawaii Appeals Court Vacates Sierra Club Win Involving Water Permits Approval

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals has vacated a ruling by a circuit environmental court, finding that the court did not have jurisdiction over an appeal by the Sierra Club of a Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) decision to continue four water permits.

  • April 29, 2024

    Washington High Court: County Water Board Lacks Standing To Oppose State Policy

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — A unanimous Washington Supreme Court has affirmed an appellate court ruling that a county water conservancy board lacked standing to challenge a policy the Washington State Department of Ecology applied to a voluntary water right transfer among water right holders.

  • April 10, 2024

    Tribe Allowed To Supplement Federal Administrative Record In Water Rights Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal magistrate judge has allowed a Native American tribe to supplement the federal government’s administrative record about how it reached a water contract and how it considered the contract’s effect on the tribe’s water rights.

  • April 09, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Dam Owner’s Challenge To Rhode Island Permit Law

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A federal judge has granted a motion by Rhode Island to dismiss a dam owner’s complaint asserting that the state cannot force it to get a permit and maintain the dam’s water level at a prescribed height.

  • April 09, 2024

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • April 09, 2024

    Judge Extends Plan For Operation Of 2 California Water Projects

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge has granted in part a request by parties to extend an interim operations plan (IOP) for two water projects through Dec. 31 as two lawsuits continued challenging the use of water to protect endangered species.

  • April 08, 2024

    Coordination Judge Denies Writs Challenging Revised California Delta Water Plan

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California state court judge overseeing a coordinated case has found that the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state’s Porter-Cologne Act, the California Constitution and the public trust doctrine in revising a plan for the California Delta that provides more water for fish and less for water users and allows higher salinity levels on certain months.

  • April 05, 2024

    California Appeals Court: Challenge To Groundwater Agency Was Properly Denied

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel has affirmed a two-judge decision denying a mandamus petition in which a water agency sought to remove a neighboring water agency as the groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) for a disputed, overlapping area.

  • April 02, 2024

    California Appeals Court: Water Right Not Voided By Handwritten Note In Record

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals court panel has affirmed a trial court’s writ of mandate that a couple’s properties have rights to water provided by a private water company.

  • March 21, 2024

    Justices Question U.S. Exception To Proposed 3-State Rio Grande Consent Decree

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States on March 20 faced questions from the U.S. Supreme Court on why the court should grant an exception to a special master’s recommendation to adopt a consent decree settling a dispute among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado over allocation of water from the Rio Grande Project, asking whether it is a question of original jurisdiction for the court, whether the exception aligns with the United States being allowed by the court to intervene in the case of original jurisdiction and, as Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. put it, “who in concrete terms is being hurt by this agreement?”

  • March 13, 2024

    Judge OKs Summary Judgment For Tribe In Suit Over Management Of Klamath Water

    MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge has adopted a magistrate judge’s findings and recommendation and granted summary judgment to the Klamath Tribes on its complaint that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by implementing temporary operating procedures for the federally operated Klamath Project during droughts that gave water to Klamath Basin irrigators at the expense of two endangered fish species that are culturally important to the tribe.

  • March 12, 2024

    Multiplaintiff, Interstate Or Notable Water Rights Cases

    New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.

  • March 12, 2024

    New Mexico Appeals Court OKs Ruling On Water Rights, Irrigation Ditch Rights

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling that three family members own only a portion of a decreed water right and that they failed to show that they had a constitutionally protected property interest in water from an acequia (community irrigation ditch).

  • March 11, 2024

    Colorado Appeals Court: ‘Water Matter’ Belongs In Water Court

    DENVER — A trial court petition challenging a state engineer’s ruling involving water rights belongs in state water court under Colorado’s Water Rights Act, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.

  • March 08, 2024

    California Water Districts: Groundwater Agency Not Honoring Subsidence Settlement

    VISALIA, Calif. — Two California water districts have filed a breach of contract complaint against a groundwater sustainability agency, saying the latter is not living up to a 2021 settlement to take actions to limit subsidence caused by the overdrafting of groundwater, to impose penalties and to remit those penalties for repair of the Friant-Kern Canal.

  • March 06, 2024

    Judge: Arizona Water Transfer Needs Federal Environmental Impact Statement

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge has granted summary judgment to four municipalities that challenged a water transfer approved by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, agreeing that the federal agency needs to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS).

  • March 06, 2024

    6th Circuit Told Dismissal Of Kentucky’s WOTUS Challenge Should Remain Undisturbed

    CINCINNATI — The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have told the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it should affirm dismissal of lawsuits filed by Kentucky challenging one of the recent waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules, noting that the agencies have subsequently promulgated a rule that comports with the most recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue.