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Legal Alert - Arizona Supreme Court Finds the State of Arizona Does Not Possess Federal Reserved Water Rights for State Trust Lands

09/12/2012

Arizona Supreme Court Finds the State of Arizona Does Not Possess Federal Reserved Water Rights for State Trust Lands
by Karlene E. Martorana and Christopher W. Payne

In a long-awaited decision today, the Arizona Supreme Court resolved an issue that the State of Arizona has been litigating for nearly 10 years: whether the State of Arizona has federal reserved water rights on state trust lands. In a unanimous decision, the Arizona Supreme Court, en banc, held that the State of Arizona does not possess a federal reserved water right for state trust land. See In Re General Adjudication, Case No. WC-11-0001-IR (September 12, 2012). The effect of this decision is that the State will have to rely on state law-based water rights for state trust lands.

[Read the full alert.]