Water Rights & Resource Management

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Colorado River Finally Reaches the Sea

#CORiver #pulseflow reached the sea @ high tide this afternoon! Thanks @lighthawk_LH for the flight to witness this! pic.twitter.com/vDisrlJXnz — SaveTheColoradoDelta (@CORiverDelta) May 16, 2014 Thanks to a multi-party, cross-cultural, international effort, and the audacity of a few tireless individuals to think big (including Squire Patton Boggs Partner Peter Culp (Phoenix)), the Colorado River met … Continue Reading

US EPA Establishes New Requirements for Cooling Water Intake Structures at Existing Facilities

On May 19, US EPA finalized a new rule governing cooling water intake structures at existing facilities. US EPA anticipates that the rule will impact approximately 1,065 existing facilities (521 manufacturing facilities and 544 power plants) nationwide that require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The … Continue Reading

US Allowed to Intervene in Rio Grande Compact Dispute Between Texas and New Mexico

On March 31, the US Supreme Court granted the federal government’s petition to intervene in a dispute between Texas and New Mexico over certain terms of the 1938 Rio Grande Compact (State of Texas v. State of New Mexico et al., Case number 22O141 ORG). As we reported here and here, Texas believes the Compact … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Permits Texas to File Suit For Enforcement of the Rio Grande Compact

On January 27, the US Supreme Court agreed to allow Texas to file suit against New Mexico and Colorado seeking apportionment of the waters of the Rio Grande River. The Texas suit now marks the 100th exercise of the Supreme Court’s Article III, Section 2 original jurisdiction over “controversies between two or more states.”  It is the fifth dispute … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Advised by Solicitor General to Hear Rio Grande Compact Lawsuit

In the last month of 2013, the US Solicitor General filed a strongly worded brief as amicus curiae expressing the US Government’s view that the Supreme Court should grant the State of Texas’s motion for leave of the Court to file a complaint against the States of New Mexico and Colorado for alleged violations of … Continue Reading

In Case You Missed Them: Top frESH Blog Posts of 2013

Here are 10 of our most popular posts of 2013: USEPA Approves Use of Phase I ESA Standard ASTM E 1527-13 for AAI – read online UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 Reverses Previous Burden of Proof for Strict Liability Health and Safety Offences – read online 8th Circuit Denies USEPA’s Petition for Rehearing … Continue Reading

Florida Pursuing Suit Against Georgia in US Supreme Court for Equitable Apportionment of Interstate Waters

In an effort to address the growing controversy between Florida and Georgia over the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, Florida has filed a motion for leave to file a bill of complaint with the US Supreme Court under the Court’s original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve “controversies between two or more states.”  Georgia’s response is due January … Continue Reading

Shale gas firms to be subject to ‘robust’ new EU Law

A report published this week has identified that a new ‘muscular legislative package’ is being prepared by the European Commission, bringing shale gas companies operating within the EU under a regime which will be “robust enough” to cater for the inherent environmental risks of the industry. The new regime, which is likely to take the … Continue Reading

Agua Caliente Tribe Sues to Quantify Groundwater Rights

Long before the Rat Pack purchased homes in swinging Palm Springs, before there were wind farms as far as the eye can see, and before the Coachella Music Festival became the hipster music aficionado capitol of the world, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians farmed Coachella Valley lands. In fact, the Agua Caliente Band … Continue Reading

Up the Creek? Flood risk insurance update

Flooding has become an increasing widespread property risk in the UK in recent years.  Flooding caused £400 million worth of damage in 2012 alone, and over 5 million properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding (that’s almost 1 in 6 properties). The insurance industry’s 2008 Statement of Principles (Principles) set out a … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Diverts Water Grab, Upholds State’s Rights to its Water: Tarrant Regional Water District v. Merrmann

According to Justice Sotomayor writing for a unanimous US Supreme Court on June 13, 2013 in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann et al., No. 11-889 (U.S. June 13, 2013), state statutes that regulate surface water permitting in a manner that disfavors out-of-state permit applicants are not pre-empted by an interstate water compact when the compact … Continue Reading

International Water Agreement Benefits U.S., Mexico, and the Environment, too

If you’ve ever been to the U.S.- Mexico border near San Luis, Sonora, any road map will lead you to the place where the iconic Colorado River is supposed to cross from the United States into Mexico. Upon arrival, however, the first thing you will notice – other than the imposing new border fence – … Continue Reading

Arizona State Trust Lands Lack Federally Reserved Water Rights

In a unanimous decision on September 12, 2012, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state of Arizona could not claim federal reserved water rights on its State Trust Lands. This decision helps to resolve a very significant source of uncertainty with regard to water rights in Arizona, as the claims that could have been … Continue Reading

PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana: SCOTUS Issues First Navigability-for-Title Decision in 81 Years

The last time the US Supreme Court took on a case where the primary issue was determining river navigability for title purposes under the equal footing doctrine, the country was mired in economic depression, car manufacturers were going out of business, and drought was consuming the west. No, it wasn’t 2010. The year was 1931, … Continue Reading