Mealey's Water Rights

  • February 21, 2023

    California Appeals Court Backs Anti-SLAPP Win By Law Firm In Weed Water Case

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court affirmed a lower court’s grant of an anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion filed by a law firm against a grassroots organization and its eight members, agreeing that the plaintiffs did not show that the law firm lacked probable cause in filing an underlying quiet title lawsuit or that it acted out of malice in naming them as respondents.

  • February 10, 2023

    Dozens Of Tribes, Others Back Navajo Nation In Supreme Court Water Rights Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — It is “blackletter law” that the United States, as trustee of reserved water rights for Indian tribes, is obligated to identify the waters reserved for tribes like the Navajo Nation, a group of large tribes tells the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus curiae brief in a dispute over water from the Colorado River.

  • February 07, 2023

    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 07, 2023

    Landowners Appeal Process Used In Tribal Water Rights Case In Washington

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two individuals and a landowners association have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari for a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that they say deprived them of their day in court in a tribal water rights case.

  • February 07, 2023

    New Mexico Appeals Court: Water Sale Breached When Rights Sold Twice

    ALBURQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Court of Appeals has affirmed a state trial court judgment that a defendant breached a contract by separately selling the same 82 acre-feet of water to two parties and the trial court’s awarding of compensatory damages and interest.

  • February 07, 2023

    Judge:  Endangered Species Act Preempts Oregon Order For Federal Water Releases

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 6 ruled that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) preempts an order by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) that prohibited the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from releasing water from the Upper Klamath Lake to preserve downstream endangered fish species during drought conditions.

  • February 07, 2023

    Consent Decree For Texas, New Mexico, Colorado Rio Grande Dispute Released

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Texas, New Mexico and Colorado say an Effective El Paso Index will be the centerpiece to resolving their dispute about the apportionment of Rio Grande water and tell a U.S. Supreme Court special master that he should deny the United States’ objections to the settlement, according to a brief in support of the consent decree released Feb. 6.

  • February 07, 2023

    Navajo Nation, U.S. Stipulate To Dismissal Of WOTUS Rule Challenge

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Navajo Nation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have jointly stipulated to dismissing the tribe’s challenge of the Trump administration’s rule defining the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in light of the Biden administration publishing a revised definition.

  • February 07, 2023

    Tribe, U.S., Water Users Stipulate To Wait For ESA Ruling In Other Case

    MEDFORD, Ore. — Parties in an Oregon federal lawsuit over endangered species and the federal operation of the Klamath Dam project have stipulated to exclude parallel issues they say are already being litigated in another case in California federal court.

  • February 06, 2023

    United States: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado Water Decree Would Impose Obligations

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The United States has told a U.S. Supreme Court special master that he should rejected a proposed consent decree settling an interstate water dispute among Texas, New Mexico and Colorado because it would impose obligations on the United States.

  • February 06, 2023

    After New WOTUS Rule, Sacketts Tell High Court To Look At Quote From 1977 Debate

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to a newly published definition of “waters of the United States (WOTUS)” that directly affects their pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Michael and Chantelle Sackett have told the high court in a letter that it should consider a 1977 congressional statement about how the Clean Water Act should interpret adjacent wetlands, the key issue in their appeal.

  • February 06, 2023

    Denial Of Contempt Reconsideration Isn’t Appealable In Neighbors’ Water Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California state appeals panel dismissed an appeal of a contempt ruling in a dispute involving the right of property owners to receive water from a neighboring property.

  • February 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Won’t Rehear Case Where It Found Tribes Required In Water Project Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied motions by several California irrigation districts and irrigation users to rehear arguments challenging federal operation of the Klamath Project or for an en banc rehearing.

  • February 06, 2023

    14 Business Groups File Complaint Against Revised WOTUS Rule

    GALVESTON, Texas — Fourteen business associations have sued the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a Texas federal court seeking a declaration that the “Revised Definition of the Waters of the United States” rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Clean Water Act and the U.S. Constitution.

  • February 03, 2023

    Government Failing In Its Duty To Navajo Nation, Tribe Tells Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States is breaking the promise it made to the Navajo Nation more than 150 years ago for “a permanent homeland in their ancestral territory, with sufficient water to fulfill the Reservation’s purposes,” constituting a breach of the government’s trust obligations to the tribe, the Nation tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a brief on the merits.

  • February 02, 2023

    Water District’s Takings Claim Not Ripe For Adjudication, Claims Judge Rules

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A judge in the Federal Claims Court says a conservation district’s lawsuit against the United States for water diversion restrictions to benefit an endangered species is not one of physical taking but of regulatory taking and that because the district hasn’t finished its regulatory process for an incidental-take permit, its claim is not yet ripe for adjudication.

  • January 27, 2023

    Arizona Judge Won’t Stay City Decision To Shut Off Water Pipe Used By Suburb

    PHOENIX — An Arizona state court judge has denied a motion by residents of suburban Scottsdale, Ariz., to enter a stay against the city’s Jan. 1 decision to cut off the flow of water to a standpipe that supplies carry-away water to the suburbanites, saying the city was not providing a utility service protected by state law and that the city’s action, while creating a hardship, will not cause irreparable harm because the plaintiffs have other water options.

  • January 25, 2023

    Suit Challenging Trump-Era Clean Water Rule Dropped After New Biden Rule Published

    SEATTLE — Three environmental groups’ and one grassroots group’s challenge of two Trump administration rules related to defining the “waters of the United States” have been dismissed by stipulation, apparently in response to a new rule published Jan. 18 by the Biden administration.

  • January 20, 2023

    Arizona City Sued After Cutting Off Its Water To Neighboring Suburb

    PHOENIX — More than 40 Arizona couples and individuals have sued the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., seeking an order forcing the city to continue to provide domestic water service after the city followed through on a 2021 warning that it would do so because of drought conditions and the city’s water needs.

  • January 19, 2023

    Texas Files Suit Opposing New Clean Water Rule On Same Day Rule Is Published

    GALVESTON, Texas — On the day the federal government published its revised definition of waters of the United States, Texas on Jan. 18 filed a complaint saying the new rule expands regulation authorized by the Clean Water Act, erodes states’ authority over their own water, interferes with state programs and undermines state sovereignty under the U.S. Constitution.

  • January 19, 2023

    EPA, Army Corps Publish New Definition Of ‘Waters Of The United States’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” was published Jan. 18 in the Federal Register.

  • January 11, 2023

    Arizona Appeals Court Asked To Reverse Eminent Domain That Includes Water Contract

    PHOENIX — An Arizona developer tells an Arizona appellate court that a state district court erred in finding that its property rights, including water a water service contract, were not taken and that the developer is not entitled to just compensation under the state and federal constitutions.

  • January 11, 2023

    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 10, 2023

    New Clean Water Rule Finalized; EPA, Army Corps Notify Supreme Court

    The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have notified the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal district courts that the agencies have finalized a rule “establishing a durable definition of ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS),” a development that prompted Colorado to dismiss its lawsuit against the Trump administration’s version of the rule and one that the federal government hopes will influence a pending Supreme Court ruling attempting to define how the EPA enforces the Clean Water Act.

  • January 10, 2023

    New Mexico Appeals Court: Impaired Water Rights Ruling, Costs Award Were Correct

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico appeals court panel has affirmed a trial court decision that a multicounty development was likely to impair existing water rights and that residents and entities that opposed a water allocation application were entitled to costs.

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