Thursday, September 26, 2013

KMTG Legal Alert: State Water Resources Control Board May Prevent Illegal Diversions Of Water, Even If Diverter Claims Riparian Or Pre-1914 Appropriative Water Right

In Young v. StateWater Resources Control Board (--- Cal.App.4th ----, Cal.App. 3 Dist., August 4, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has the authority under Water Code section 1831 to issue a cease and desist order (“CDO”) against what it has determined is an unlawful diversion of water, even if the diverter claims a riparian or pre-1914 right.  The appellate court rejected an argument that the Water Board was required to first seek a judicial determination of the claimed riparian or pre-1914 rights.   

For a detailed discussion of the facts of this case, and the rationale behind the court's ruling, please see the full KMTG Legal Alert here.

If you have any questions concerning this topic, please contact Daniel J. O'Hanlon or Rebecca R. Akroyd from our office, or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Update on Challenge to Reclamation's Supplemental Storage Releases from CVP's Lewiston Dam

Following a two day hearing, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on August 22, 2013, lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting excess releases of stored water into the Trinity River from the Central Valley Project’s Trinity River Division.  

The TRO had been in place since August 12.  In lifting the TRO and declining to issue a preliminary injunction, the court observed that the amount of CVP water slated for release had fallen to some 20,000 acre-feet, which is down from the more than 100,000 acre-feet originally contemplated by Reclamation.  In deciding not to enjoin the smaller storage release, the Court compared the risk of harm to fall-run Chinook salmon to the risk of harm from reducing water supplies for people.  The order acknowledges that “[b]oth sides of this dispute represent significant public interests. . . . Neither side holds veto power over the other.”

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