Bureau of Reclamation

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Releases Updated Operation Plan for Colorado River System Reservoirs

On August 13, 2014, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) released its latest Operation Plan for Colorado River System Reservoirs 24-Month Study. The study projects operations and water releases for major...more

Recent Ninth Circuit ESA Decision May Be Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

On July 14, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District v. Natural Resources...more

Federal Court of Appeals Rules that California Water District May Recover Expectancy Damages from the United States

Opinion Reverses Trial Court, and Bureau of Reclamation May Owe Additional Damages for Breach of Water Supply Contract - A recent federal appellate decision may clear the way for water purveyors to collect damages when...more

Water District Shorted by Federal Government May Recover Expectancy Damages

A federal appellate court may have made it possible for water purveyors to collect additional damages from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation when water deliveries are shortened due to an inexcusable breach of contract. The...more

CEQA Exemption Update: Westland Water District Two-Year Contract Renewals Ruled Exempt from CEQA Requirements

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, No. FO67383 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 3, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld the Westland Water District and its related distribution districts’ (Water...more

Fifth District Upholds CEQA Exemptions For Ongoing Pre-CEQA Projects And Continued Operation of Existing Facilities To Reject...

In a July 3, 2014 published decision more notable for the practical importance of the water rights involved than the CEQA law applied, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected the CEQA challenges of various environmental...more

Broad Duty To Consult Is New Norm Under ESA In 9th Circ.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc issued a landmark decision regarding the consultation provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The consultation provisions require any federal agency that authorizes, funds or...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Holds ESA Consultation Requirement Applies to Renewal of Long-Term Water Contracts

In a unanimous decision, eleven active judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the duty to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when a federal agency action...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Delta Smelt Biological Opinion Pumping Restrictions

California Water Supplies Likely to be Impacted - In a reversal potentially impacting the water supply to millions of Californians, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a biological opinion issued by the...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Long-Awaited Delta Smelt Decision

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision relating to the 2008 biological opinion (BiOp) issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) regarding the effects of the Central...more

Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Draft EIR Released for Public Comment: Greatest Habitat Restoration Plan Ever or Pork Barrel...

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), an ecosystem plan designed to restore habitat and help endangered fish species recover while also keeping water flowing to customers through construction of the proposed water tunnel...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Petition for Rehearing of Area of Origin Decision

On October 15, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order denying the Petition for Rehearing filed by Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority (“TCCA”), which requested rehearing or rehearing en banc of the Ninth...more

Temporary Restraining Order Granted in Lawsuit Challenging the Bureau of Reclamation's Planned August and September 2013...

On August 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") prohibiting the Bureau of Reclamation ("Reclamation") from releasing into the Trinity River up...more

ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environment Update – Week of August 5, 2013

Just days before entering the five-week August recess, Capitol Hill was abuzz last week with nomination considerations and legislation, including the now-resolved student loan issue. On the energy front, the Senate approved...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Claims to Area of Origin Priority by Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority

On July 1, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion rejecting assertions by Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority (“TCCA”) that California area of origin law entitled its member districts to priority deliveries of...more

ESA Lawsuit Filed Challenging Operations At The Trinity River Fish Hatchery

The Trinity River Hatchery, which is operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has a production capacity of approximately 40 million salmonid eggs....more

Bureau of Reclamation Reduces 2013 CVP Allocations by 5 Percent

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today decreased the Water Year 2013 water supply allocations for the Central Valley Project, citing the extremely dry conditions in California. Reclamation's announcement is quoted below...more

Ninth Circuit Orders Endangered Species Act Case To Be Reheard En Banc

On March 5, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered Natural Resources Defense Council v. Salazar, 1:05-cv-01207, to be reheard en banc pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(a) and...more

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