Water Rights

News & Analysis as of

Tribal Groundwater Resources – Management Considerations Under Current Law

In the arid southwest, water is the most important and precious natural resource. In some communities, groundwater is the primary source, and often sole source, of water for domestic, agricultural irrigation, industrial, and...more

Why California’s New Groundwater Management Law is a Game Changer for Mine Operators

Ready or not, California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is here and mine operators should be vigilant in monitoring and actively participating in developments under the law. Previously, the use of...more

CA Lawmaker Floats a Legislative Fix to Siskiyou County Farm Bureau Case

Last summer, the Third District Court of Appeal issued a sweeping ruling in Siskiyou County Farm Bureau v. Department of Fish and Wildlife, which made any substantial diversions of water subject to the streambed alteration...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Bill would limit communications with California Coastal Commission: Santa Barbara Independent - Mar 23 - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced plans to introduce a bill...more

Texas Groundwater Case Opens New Front in Regulatory Takings Claims

Water rights lawsuits are not new. But a recent ruling in Texas sets new precedent in the fight for groundwater. There, a Texas trial court recently awarded pecan farmers Glenn and JoLynn Bragg $2.5 million for their lost...more

B.C. Enters New Era of Water Regulation as Water Sustainability Act Is Brought into Force

Nearly two years after passing the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), the province of British Columbia has quietly brought it into force through the registration of five new regulations. Together, these implement a new regime...more

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms ADWR’s Approval of Mining Company’s Request to Sever and Transfer Its Surface Water Rights

The Arizona Supreme Court, in Arizona Department of Water Resources v. Hon Crane McClennen in and for the county of Maricopa, No. CV-15-0223-SA, reversed a ruling from Judge McClennen of the Superior Court of Maricopa County...more

Brownstein's Annual California Water Rights Compliance Checklist

On behalf of Brownstein’s California Water Group, we are pleased to provide you with our California Water Rights: Compliance Checklist for 2016. This Checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements...more

New California Laws: AB 1390 and SB 226: More Groundwater

Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills designed to make groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. Companion bills Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 are intended to streamline...more

New Water Law Will Affect Everyone Who Uses Water in Florida

On January 14, 2016, the officers of the Legislature presented CS/CS/SB 552 to Governor Scott for signature. More famously known as the "Water Bill," this 134-page page marvel of compromise proves that it is still possible to...more

Some Decisions Just Make One Say “Wow!”

Conservatives sometimes talk about lawless, i.e., liberal, judges. Let me tell you a story about Judge Robert Clive Jones, who presided over the United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, until the 9th Circuit this week...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - State lawmaker seeks to close old SoCal Gas wells in Aliso Canyon - Los Angeles Business - Jan 12 State Senator Fran Pavley is calling for Southern California Gas Co. to close older...more

Water and Land Part 2

Water and Land - In Part I, we discussed the lawsuit between the State of North Carolina and Alcoa which determined that Alcoa owns a 45 mile portion of the Yadkin River riverbed. State of North Carolina v. Alcoa Power...more

U.S. District Court Denies Penobscot Nation's Claim to Penobscot River

On December 16, 2015, Judge Singal issued his decision in the Penobscot Indian Nation v. Mills lawsuit, in which the Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) had claimed that their reservation included the entire main stem of the...more

Water Rights Adjudication Process Serving Streamlined

AB 1390 expedites comprehensive groundwater adjudications to determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin. While AB 1390, a companion bill to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, streamlines several...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - Senate votes to block EPA’s clean water rule: The Hill - Nov 4:: The U.S. Senate approved a bill Wednesday to block the Obama administration’s new regulation defining federal authority...more

Five Considerations Before Selling a Vineyard or Winery

Whether to sell a vineyard or winery is one of the most significant decisions an owner will make. There are financial, career, lifestyle, and other factors that go into the choice, and the calculation is different for each...more

California Water Board Lifts Curtailment of Senior Water Rights in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday issued a notice lifting water diversion restrictions for the holders of all senior water rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds and Delta. The Board issued the...more

California Water Commission Adopts Regulations For Changing Groundwater Basin Boundaries

On October 21, 2015, the California Water Commission (“CWC”) adopted emergency regulations formulated by the Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) that establish a process by which local agencies may seek groundwater basin...more

Governor Brown Authorizes Streamlined Groundwater Basin Adjudications and Private Party Participation Under Sustainable...

On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed a suite of bills that has the potential to significantly increase litigation over groundwater rights. Together, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226 authorize streamlined...more

California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law

California enacts basin adjudication statutes with the goal of reducing uncertainty, costs and time of water rights litigation. On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226...more

Governor Signs New SGMA Legislation Outlining Procedures for Groundwater Adjudications

On Friday, October 9, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law two bills, Assembly Bill 1390 and Senate Bill 226, which outline procedures specific to groundwater adjudications. Last year, the legislature passed the Sustainable...more

New California Laws Will Ease Groundwater Right Battles, Yet Encourage More Litigation

On October 9, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills aimed at making groundwater disputes easier and faster to resolve in court. The new laws—companion bills AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley)—streamline...more

New California Groundwater Laws Portend More Litigation, But Faster Resolution

Last week, the California Legislature sent two important bills on groundwater to Governor Jerry Brown for signature. The bills promise to revamp California’s complicated, lengthy, and arduous judicial process for adjudicating...more

Legislation Revamping California Groundwater Adjudications Marches Forward

AB 1390 aims in unprecedented fashion to expedite procedures and processes for groundwater adjudications, which, in California, are known to take one or two decades before reaching a final judgment. The bill would add various...more

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