Superior Court >General Stream Adjudication >Adjudication Bulletin

Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
Vol. 15, No. 2
May-August 2007

Welcome to the Online Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin

The Bulletin is published three times a year by the Office of the Special Master to provide information about proceedings in the Gila River Adjudication and the Little Colorado River Adjudication.

Departments:

Calendar
Archive

Office of the Special Master Maricopa Superior Court

Central Court Building 5B
201 West Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2205
Tel. 602-372-4115

The Bulletin relies on links as we believe that making a copy of the entire document available to our readers is better than a short summary. Always check our What's New page frequently for up-to-date notices and documents.

Arizona Supreme Court Interlocutory Appeals

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement, Interlocutory Appeal No. WC-07-0001-IR (Contested Case No. W1-207), Gila River Adjudication: On May 22, 2007, the Arizona Supreme Court denied the requests of the Lower Gila Water Users and the Apache Tribes for a stay of proceedings. These parties have requested interlocutory review of the Superior Court's January 23, 2007, and March 7, 2007, orders.

On May 29, 2007, the Navajo Nation filed a Cross-Petition for Interlocutory Review of the Superior Court's February 23, 2007, order. The petition presented three issues for review. The United States, Salt River Project, and the Gila River Indian Community have filed responses to the petitions.

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement, Interlocutory Appeal No. WC-07-0002-IR (Contested Case No. W1-208), Gila River Adjudication: On July 19, 2007, the Tohono O'odham Nation filed a petition for interlocutory review of the Superior Court's Judgment and Decree asking the Arizona Supreme Court to affirm the judgment and decree. The Nation believes that the record supports the judgment and decree, but because under the Congressional act the judgment and decree must be nonappealable, the Arizona Supreme Court needs to affirm the judgment. On August 8, 2007, the Supreme Court set a schedule for other petitions for review to be filed, if any, responses, and replies. On August 28, 2007, the Arizona Supreme Court expedited consideration of certain motions filed by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and denied en banc review and reconsideration and vacating of the Court's August 8, 2007, order.

In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed, Interlocutory Appeal WC-05-0001-IR (Contested Case No. W1-103), Gila River Adjudication: On May 22, 2007, the Arizona Supreme Court denied all the petitions for interlocutory review. Arizona Public Service, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Roosevelt Water Conservation District, the Cities of Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, and Scottsdale, and Pueblo Del Sol Water Company had filed petitions or cross-petitions for review of portions of the Superior Court's September 28, 2005, order.

Joint Adjudications Hearing on Departmental Funding and Staffing

The Court announced that it would hold a joint hearing of both adjudications to discuss the increased funding given to the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the alignment of future technical assignments and projected schedules of completion. On August 17, 2007, the Department filed a report describing work completed, ongoing, and planned for the future. The Department has been authorized 12 new employees for the adjudications which will increase its staff to 18.5 positions.

Gila River Adjudication

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement: On August 20, 2007, the Court held an evidentiary hearing on the objection of the Lower Gila Water Users (LGWU) that the water rights of the Gila River Indian Community provided in the proposed settlement agreement are more extensive than the Community would have been able to prove at trial. Prior to the hearing, ASARCO LLC withdrew from the hearing following discussions with the Community. At the hearing, the LGWU entered into certain stipulations that shortened the hearing. The Court found that the water rights provided in the settlement agreement are no more extensive than the Community would have been able to establish at trial. The Court requested the Community to file a form of judgment and decree.

Prior to the hearing, the Court entered orders regarding expert testimony, motion for judgment on the pleadings, motion in limine concerning certain certain legal issues, motion in limine concerning several provisions of the settlement agreement, and a motion in limine concerning issues other than quantity.

Previously, the Court denied the Salt River Project's motion for summary judgment against certain members of the LGWU group, but the denial was without prejudice should SRP be able to show that the relief it requested would apply to the standing of all members of the LGWU. No further proceedings resulted subsequent to this ruling.

On April 26, 2007, the Court held a telephonic conference to discuss the resolution of the remaining issues raised by some of the objectors. The Court set a schedule for the evidentiary hearing held on August 20, 2007, on the portions of ASARCO LLC's and the LGWU's "objections that relate to the quantity of water originating from sources subject to this adjudication that Gila River Indian Community would receive should the Court approve" the proposed settlement agreement.

On May 9, 2007, the Settling Parties filed a report describing the service by first class mail of the Notice of Proposed Settlement upon all known claimants and assignees in the Gila River Adjudication (39,145 names) and the publication of the notice in three newspapers. The Settling parties held public meetings in Phoenix, Casa Grande, and Safford to explain the proposed settlement agreement and widely distributed copies of the pertinent documents.

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement: The Court approved the proposed water rights settlement and entered a Judgment and Decree. On August 13, 2007, the Court denied the Pascua Yaqui Tribe's motion for reconsideration.

The judgment and decree followed a ruling denying the Pascua Yaqui Tribe's motion for reconsideration of an order dismissing the Tribe's objections to the proposed settlement agreement. This judgment and decree mark the second approval of an Indian water rights settlement within the past year.

On April 27, 2007, the Court heard the motions of the Settling Parties for summary disposition of the objections filed by ten objectors to the proposed settlement. The Court dismissed the objections.

On May 9, 2007, the Settling Parties filed a report describing the service by first class mail of the Notice of Proposed Settlement upon all known claimants and assignees in the Gila River Adjudication and the publication of the notice on two separate dates in two newspapers. The Settling parties held one public meeting in Tucson to explain the proposed settlement agreement.

In re PWR 107 Claims: On June 12, 2007, the Special Master submitted his partial report and proposed order and partial decree for the adjudication of Public Water Reserve No. 107 reserved water rights of the United States in the San Pedro River Watershed. The Special Master recommended that the Court approve the stipulations but with certain modifications regarding legal descriptions and amounts of water. Four claimants have filed objections to the report. Responses to the objections are due on September 12, 2007. If entered, this decree would be the third partial decree in the San Pedro River Watershed Adjudication.

On April 12, 2007, ADWR filed its report and recommendations regarding the proposed stipulations and abstracts of water rights. Only the United States filed comments to ADWR's report.

In re Fort Huachuca: The Special Master issued two orders modifying the briefing schedule for the four issues designated for initial briefing. ASARCO LLC, Arizona Water Company, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Salt River Project, and the United States filed summary judgment motions, and the Gila River Indian Community filed a position statement concerning the issues. Oral argument is set on November 20, 2007, in Phoenix. On August 16, 2007, the Special Master denied a motion to stay this contested case.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: The Special Master allowed parties to comment on several issues focusing on reserved water rights that were submitted for consideration for briefing. After considering all submissions, the Special Master issued a Scheduling Order designating six issues for briefing, setting timelines for disclosures, discovery, and briefing, and removing certain parties from the Court approved mailing list for this case. The Special Master wants to consider legal issues that can be resolved by briefing and whose determinations will be helpful to efforts to settle this case as well as assist the technical investigations of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

In re Application of Salt River Project for Injunctive Relief Re Respondent NBJ Ranch, L.P.: Pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, the Court modified the hearing schedule and moved back the evidentiary hearing. The Court will hold two separate evidentiary hearings involving the Salt River Project's applications. The first hearing will involve Respondents Kovacovich Investment, L.P. and Wiertzema Family Trust, and the second hearing will address the NBJ Ranch, L.P.

Belcher Investments, L. P.'s Application for Injunctive Relief Re Respondent Michael L. Golder: On May 9, 2007, Belcher Investments, L. P. filed an application for an order to show cause and request for an injunction against Michael L. Golder for alleged unauthorized diversions of water from Greenback Creek in Tonto Basin. The Court set a hearing for the application on October 11, 2007.

Practice Tip - Special Master's Web Site

The Special Master's web site at http://www.supreme.state.az.us/wm is a valuable resource for accessing documents and keeping up with orders, hearing schedules, and news. In a recent survey, the majority of respondents stated that they visited the web site monthly. Weekly was the second most popular answer.

The home page presents an overview of the adjudications, a link to the statutes, and links on the left-hand side navigation bar that will take the reader to these pages:

  • What's New
  • Arizona Supreme Court: Interlocutory Appeals; Decisions and Orders
  • Gila River Adjudication
  • Little Colorado River Adjudication
  • Overview of Adjudications
  • Rules for Proceedings Before the Special Master
  • Online Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
  • Other Decisions and Links
  • Court Approved Mailing Lists

Within these topics are additional links to minute entries, rulings, pretrial orders, special procedural orders, and reports of the Special Master. These pages are updated as new minute entries or orders are issued.

The What's New page is a source for current events, a calendar of upcoming proceedings and filing deadlines, and notes of interest. Check the page frequently. In the recent survey, this page was ranked as the second most visited page after the Gila River Adjudication page.

The Gila and Little Colorado court approved mailing lists are updated and maintained by staff in the Legal Division of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). The court approved mailing lists for individual contested cases are maintained by the office of the Special Master. When a revision is made to the major mailing lists (Gila, Little Colorado), those lists are prepared and distributed by ADWR. The Special Master's office then revises all contested case mailing lists to reflect corrected names and addresses and posts all mailing lists on the web site. The result is that all current mailing lists bear the same date of revision, in an effort to avoid confusion about which list is the latest.

The Special Master welcomes suggestions. As a result of several requests, we posted online the Rules for Proceedings Before the Special Master. Check the web site frequently for up-to-date information.

Other News

Changes of Address: Keeping the Arizona Department of Water Resources updated on your mailing address is very important! The Special Master has updated a letter that the Arizona Association of Realtors first posted on its Web site in May, 2001.

Special Master's Web Site: Work on moving the Special Master's Web site to the Maricopa County Superior Court Internet site is on schedule. The Superior Court site is being revised, and when that work is completed, the Special Master's site will be opened in that site. The format of this site will not change significantly.

Between June 30, 2006, and July 1, 2007, 16,074 people made 110,320 visits to the Special Master's Web site and downloaded an item 145,833 times. The most popular item downloaded was Pre-Trial Order No. 1 in the Gila River Adjudication (1,483 downloads). The site recorded nearly 400,000 hits.

Calendar

Link here to the calendar of proceedings on the Special Master's web site.

Index
Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
January 2005 - December 2006

From the first issue (April 1993) through 1997, the Bulletin was published 10 times each year (monthly, except July and December). From January 1998 to July 2000, the Bulletin was published quarterly. After that time, printed editions were published for August-December 2000 and January-May 2001. The first online edition was dated June-August 2001. Subsequent issues will be published only online in January, May, and September (or more frequently as events warrant). All issues since October 1996 are available on our Web site; contact the Office of the Special Master for earlier issues.

Previous indexes are in the following issues: April 1995, April 1996, April/May 1997, April-July 1998, March/April 1999, April-July 2000, September-December 2001, September-December 2003, and January-April 2005. Most issues contain articles titled "Gila River Proceedings" and "Little Colorado River Proceedings."

Apache County Clerk of the Superior Court
September-December 2006.

Arizona Department of Water Resources
January-April 2005 (meeting with Court); September-December 2005 (electronic data bases for discovery); September-December 2006 (staffing report).

Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 53 (Masters)
May-August 2005; September-December 2005.

Eddward P. Ballinger, Jr. Writes Letter to ADWR
September-December 2005.

Gila River Adjudication Proceedings
In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Agreement, No. W1-207 May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement Agreement, No. W1-208 May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re Non-Domestic De Minimis Water Uses, a contested case not yet organized (No. W1-105) September-December 2005; January-April 2006.

In re Fort Huachuca, Contested Case No. W1-11-605 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re PWR 107 Claims, Contested Case No. W1-11-1174 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; September-December 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Contested Case No. W1-11-232 September-December 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re State Trust Lands, Contested Case No. W1-104 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed, Contested Case No. W1-103 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; September-December 2005; January-April 2006.

Salt River Project's Applications for Provisional Injunctive Relief January-April 2005; May-August 2005; September-December 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006.

Special Master's Funding Report May-August 2006.

Interlocutory Reviews - Arizona Supreme Court
In re the Preclusive Effect of the Globe Equity No. 59 Decree on Specified Parties, Contested Cases Nos. W1-203 and W1-206 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; September-December 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

Judicial Assistants
Kathy Dolge
May-August 2006.

Little Colorado River Adjudication Proceedings
In re Proposed Zuni Indian Tribe Water Rights Settlement Agreement, No. 6417-200 May-August 2005 (Gov. Napolitano vetoes legislation); January-April 2006; December 2005; May-August 2006; September-December 2006.

In re Phelps Dodge Corporation (Show Low Lake), Contested Case No. 6417-033-0060 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; September-December 2005

In re State Trust Lands, Contested Case No. 6417-100 January-April 2005; May-August 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006; September-December 2006

Status Conference
September-December 2005; January-April 2006; May-August 2006

Special Master's Funding Report:
May-August 2006

Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court
May-August 2005; September-December 2006.

Office Relocations
Adujudication Court
May-august 2005.

People in the Bulletin
Alexandra M. Arboleda
May-August 2006.

Michael John "Mike" Brophy
September-December 2006

David A. Brown
January-April 2006; May-August 2006

Michael J. Brown
September-December 2006

Charles L. Cahoy
May-August 2006

Graham M. Clark, Jr.
January-April 2006

Courtney A. Fligeltaub
January-April 2006

Rodney B. Lewis
January-April 2006

John H. Ryley
September-December 2006

John E. Thorson
January-April 2005

Thomas R. Wilmoth
May-August 2006

Preservation of Court Records
January-April 2006.

Rules for Proceedings Before the Special Master
May-August 2005.

Special Master's Article
September-December 2005.

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