As Colorado River Conditions Continue to Deteriorate, the United States Warns that More Cuts will be Required and the Basin States Consider Options

by L. William Staudenmaier The Colorado River is a critical water source for more than 40 million people, vast agricultural operations, numerous industries, and a wide variety of ecological resources across the seven states that share its waters: Arizona, California, … Continue reading

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Basin States Agree to Reduced Colorado River Deliveries

by Fred Breedlove Less than two weeks ago, we wrote that the Department of Interior proposed reducing Colorado River deliveries in 2022 by 480,000 acre-feet and that Assistant Secretary Trujillo had asked the Basin States for comments on this proposal.  … Continue reading

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Feds Considering Emergency Reductions to Colorado River Deliveries

by Fred Breedlove In an April 8, 2022 letter to each of the seven Colorado River basin states, the Interior Department asked for comments by April 22 about its plan to reduce releases from Glen Canyon Dam to 7.0 million … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Reinstates Trump Clean Water Rule (For Now)

by Patrick J. Paul On Wednesday, April 6, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision stayed a Northern District of California Court decision that both remanded and vacated EPA Trump-era rules regarding water quality certification of projects under Clean … Continue reading

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Will the Sackett Test Clarify the Reach of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction?

by Michael C. Ford “Sackett” may be poised to become a part of the Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdictional lexicon, joining the likes of Rapanos, significant nexus, relatively permanent, and Solid Waste Agency of Cook County, on the tip of … Continue reading

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So, What Exactly Is A Water Of The U.S.?

by Patrick J. Paul The federal Clean Water Act created federal jurisdiction over “navigable waters” defined as “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). Since becoming law in 1972, debate over what is, and is not, WOTUS has been robust.  The … Continue reading

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Rare Rulemaking Initiated by Arizona Department of Water Resources

by Fred Breedlove The Arizona Department of Water Resources (“ADWR”) announced on September 18, 2021 that it had initiated a rulemaking for three subject areas:  licensing timeframes, well construction and licensing, and dam safety.  Overall, the proposed changes are mostly … Continue reading

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Reclamation Declares Tier 1 Shortage on Colorado River for 2022

by Fred Breedlove The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) published its August 2021 24-Month Study on Monday, effectively declaring a shortage on the Colorado River for the Lower Colorado River Basin.  The August study predicts that the elevation of Lake … Continue reading

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Passes the Senate

by Amanda A. Reeve Arizona’s Senior U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema is credited as being instrumental in negotiating the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, H.R. 3684, entitled “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act (“INVEST in … Continue reading

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Trump Administration’s Clean Water Rule to Remain as Agencies Seek its Revision

by Patrick J. Paul On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, a federal court in South Carolina allowed the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), defining the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction, to remain in place while the U.S. Environmental … Continue reading

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