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Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
Vol. 22, No. 1
January-April 2014

Welcome to the Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin

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

Departments:

Calendar
Archive

Editor: Barbara K. Brown
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 so the entire document is available to our readers. Always check our What's New page for up-to-date notices and documents.

New Director for the Arizona Department of Water Resources

Mr. Michael J. Lacey has been appointed by Governor Janice K. Brewer to serve as the new Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). Prior to his appointment as Director, Mr. Lacey had been ADWRís Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer since 2011. Before his appointment as Deputy Director, Mr. Lacey owned a private consulting hydrologist business for 22 years, worked as a Water Resource Specialist with the Department (1987-1989), and was a Hydrologist with the USDA Forest Serviceís Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station in Tempe (1984-1987). Mr. Lacey received his Masterís degree in Physical Geography from Arizona State University and a Bachelorís degree in Physical Geography from the University of Delaware.

Mr. Lacey replaces Ms. Sandy Fabritz-Whitney as ADWRís Director who served in many positions with the Department. She resigned to join Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. as Director of Water Strategy. During her tenure as Director, she was active with Colorado River and groundwater management issues.

Meeting of the Court and Arizona Department of Water Resources

On April 18, 2014, the Hon. Mark J. Brain, Special Master Schade, and Director Michael J. Lacey met to review ongoing projects and discuss potential ways to expedite the adjudications. Deputy Director Janet L. Ronald and Assistant Director and Chief Engineer Michael J. Johnson participated in the discussions. The meeting lasted almost two hours. The Court meets with the Department annually to assess the progress of the adjudications.

Updated Court Approved Mailing Lists

Updated Court Approved Mailing Lists dated January 9, 2014, are posted. The lists contain all changes known to the office of the Special Master that occurred between July 1, 2013, and January 9, 2014. The January 9, 2014, date will remain the same until the mailing lists are globally updated in July 2014, although changes will be regularly incorporated until then. Parties are asked to notify promptly the Court and Special Master of changes of mailing addresses.

Little Colorado River Adjudication

On April 22, 2014, the Court held a permissible ex parte hearing to consider the application of the settling parties to commence special proceedings concerning the Amended and Restated White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Agreement dated as of November 1, 2012. The agreement resolves the claims for water rights of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and its members. The agreement was part of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 enacted by the Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Following a presentation by the White Mountain Apache Tribe on the scope of the quantification agreement, the Court found it appropriate to commence special proceedings regarding approval of the agreement. The Court directed the Arizona Department Water Resources to prepare a factual analysis and technical assessment of the agreement to be submitted no later than July 25, 2014. The contested case is entitled In re Amended and Restated White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Agreement, No. W1-209 and CV 6417-202.

The special proceedings will involve both adjudications and will be conducted in accordance with orders of the Arizona Supreme Court entered in the Gila River Adjudication and Little Colorado River Adjudication. All claimants in both adjudications will be mailed a copy of a Notice of Proposed Settlement that contains information concerning public presentations, the Departmentís factual analysis and technical assessment, and filing objections to the quantification agreement.

Gila River Adjudication

Subflow Zone Map of the San Pedro River Watershed: On January 15, 2013, the Court requested the Arizona Department of Water Resources to prepare a revised Subflow Zone Delineation Report for the San Pedro River Watershed consistent with Judge Eddward P. Ballinger, Jr.ís October 12, 2012, order. On April 1, 2014, ADWR filed a revised report. ADWR delineated the lateral extent of the subflow zone of the San Pedro River, Babocomari River, and Aravaipa Creek. It also described how ADWR applied certain setbacks to the delineation of the subflow zone as Judge Ballinger directed. After applying the setbacks, ADWR mapped the lateral extent of the subflow zone of the San Pedro River and its two main tributaries.

Claimants may purchase copies of the Departmentís technical reports by calling 1-866-246-1414. The reports are available for download from the Departmentís web site at http://www.azwater.gov/dwr - look under Programs - Adjudications - Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed.

San Pedro River Watershed Contested Cases on Federal Reserved Water Rights: On October 24, 2013, the United States filed with the Court a motion to stay the four contested cases in the San Pedro River Watershed that involve non-Indian federal reserved water rights. The motion requested a stay until the Arizona Department of Water Resources completes the Subflow Report for the watershed, the Court approves the delineation of the subflow zone, and the Department supplements the 1991 Final Hydrographic Survey Report for the San Pedro River Watershed to comply with the requirements of A.R.S. ß 45-256. The Court denied the motion for a stay of the four cases.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: This case is addressing quantification and land boundary issues. On November 27, 2013, the United States requested that the Special Master suspend the litigation schedule and all deadlines in this case until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. The Special Master transferred this motion to the Court for ruling. On February 19, 2014, the Court denied the motion.

In re Fort Huachuca: This case is addressing quantification issues. On November 13, 2013, the United States filed with the Special Master a Motion for a Protective Order from all discovery including the production of electronically stored information and other documents, submission of expert reports, and deposition of witnesses, until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. On November 27, 2013, the United States requested that the Special Master suspend the litigation schedule and all deadlines in this case until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. On December 13, 2013, the Special Master transferred both motions to the Court for ruling. On February 19, 2014, the Court denied the motions.

On March 19, 2014, following a conference, the Special Master set timelines for completing discovery requests made to the United States. The requests involve electronically stored information and documents related to a federal biological assessment. The discovery will be completed by October 21, 2014. A status conference will be held in November 2014, to set future timelines leading to an evidentiary hearing on the water rights quantification issues.

In re Redfield Canyon Wilderness Area: This case is considering seven issues designated by the Special Master that address the federal reserved water rights claims to the wilderness area. On November 27, 2013, the United States requested that the Special Master suspend the litigation schedule and all deadlines in this case until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. The Special Master transferred this motion to the Court. On February 19, 2014, the Court denied the motion.

In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area: This case is considering quantification issues. On November 13, 2013, the United States filed with the Special Master a Motion for a Protective Order from all discovery until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. On November 27, 2013, the United States requested that the Special Master suspend the litigation schedule and all deadlines in this case until a final ruling is made on the United Statesí motion to stay all proceedings. The Special Master transferred both motions to the Court for ruling. On February 19, 2014, the Court denied the motions.

On February 21, 2014, the Arizona Department of Water Resources filed a report that evaluates the methodologies used and quantities claimed for the federal reserved water rights for the wilderness area. The report summarizes the federal claims for reserved water rights and state law based water rights held by the United States. It updates the watershed file reports associated with the wilderness area that were reported in the 1991 Final Hydrographic Survey Report for the San Pedro River Watershed. The Special Master ruled that the report is subject to discovery.

On April 3, 2014, following a conference, the Special Master set timelines for completing discovery and filing responses and replies concerning a motion of the United States for partial summary judgment. The issue concerning the boundaries of the wilderness area appears to have been resolved. A status conference will be held in November 2014, to set future timelines leading to an evidentiary hearing on the water rights quantification issues.

In re Powers Garden Administrative Site: The Court has under advisement the Special Masterís report and proposed decree recommending the approval of the partiesí stipulation and abstracts of federal reserved water rights set forth in the report. The Court may adopt or affirm, modify, wholly or partly reject or reverse, or resubmit the report to the Special Master with instructions.

In re Applications of Salt River Project for Injunctive Relief: The following matters are proceeding in the Verde River Watershed. In the matters involving Respondents David R. Henry, Kathy S. Henry, Michael C. Kasper, and Judy L. Kasper the Salt River Project filed a motion for summary judgment. On March 26, 2014, at the request of the parties, the Court extended the date for the Respondents to answer the motion to May 19, 2014. The parties continue to engage in negotiations.

In the matter involving Respondents Chester-Campbell, L.L.C., Linda S. Robinson, and Paul R. Robinson, the Court granted the stipulated dismissal without prejudice of the Salt River Projectís application for injunctive relief.

Calendar

Link here to the calendar of proceedings.

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