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Water Blog

  • 14
  • October
  • 2015

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Federal Judicial Panel Rules against Consolidating Challenges to the WOTUS Rule

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued their final rule defining the “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS rule”) under the Clean Water Act, nine separate suits were filed in seven district courts nationwide. These suits allege that the WOTUS rule is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedural Act, and other federal laws.

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  • 24
  • September
  • 2015

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Long-Awaited Resolution of the Conflict over the Marvin Nichols Reservoir (Possibly)

On September 9, 2015, the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB” or the “Board”) voted unanimously that an “interregional conflict” existed between the Region C Regional Water Planning Area (“Region C”) and Region D Regional Water Planning Area (“Region D”) initially proposed regional water plans (“IPPs”) for 2016, triggering third-party mediation, which the Board ordered to begin on or before October 5, 2015. 

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Accommodating Another Wrinkle in Texas Water Law? – Coyote Lake Ranch LLC v. Lubbock

On October 14, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court is set to hear a water rights case that could shake up water law in Texas. The Texas high court has agreed to hear Coyote Lake Ranch LLC v. Lubbock, a case in which the plaintiff‑ranch argues that the accommodation doctrine should apply to restrict the City of Lubbock from drilling 80 water wells on the property because it would unreasonably disrupt its existing ranching activities.

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  • 10
  • September
  • 2015

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New Clean Water Rule Effective in Texas (and 36 other states)

On Friday, September 4, 2015, a federal district court judge in North Dakota declined to enjoin implementation of the Waters of the U.S. rule, or Clean Water Rule, nationwide (read the new rule here). Judge Ralph Erickson granted the injunction to the 13 states challenging the rule in North Dakota on Thursday, August 27, 2015, one day before the effective date of the rule.

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Colorado's Interbasin Compact Committee Releases "Seven Points" for Negotiating New Transmountain Diversions: A New Paradigm or Potential Impediment to Mega Projects?

A long-standing controversy in Colorado involves the diversion of water supplies from the Colorado River System for use by cities and farms on the Front Range. The second draft of Colorado’s Water Plan, released last month, includes a revised “conceptual framework” for future negotiations over development of new transmountain diversions (TMDs).

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California Water Board Proposes $1.5 Million Fine for Illegal Diversions

On Monday, July 22, the California Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Water Rights threatened a $1.5 million fine against an irrigation district in the drought-stricken Central Valley. In an administrative civil liability complaint, the Board alleged that the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, which serves 160 farmers in Contra Costa County, illegally diverted 675 million gallons between June 13 and June 25.

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Texas Legislature Authorizes New Public-Private Partnership Center

Legislation passed by the Texas Legislature may catalyze more private investment in water infrastructure across the Lone Star State. House Bill 2475, signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 19, establishes a new “center for alternative finance and procurement” that will assist government entities in selecting public-private partnership projects for nearly any type of public infrastructure. The law will take effect on September 1, 2015.

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Supreme Court Grants Review in Interstate Groundwater Dispute

Water wars will return to the Supreme Court next term, this time in a lawsuit brought by the State of Mississippi against the State of Tennessee. On Monday, June 29, the Court agreed to review a claim by Mississippi that the City of Memphis and its water utility, backed by the state of Tennessee, are illegally pumping water from the Sparta-Memphis Aquifer on Mississippi’s side of the state line.

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Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Partner

Theresa Romanosky

Theresa Romanosky Senior Associate

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck Senior Associate

Ross Woessner

Ross Woessner Associate

Jay Rothrock

Jay Rothrock Senior Associate