Vol. 12, No. 3
September-December 2004

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.



Office of the Special Master Maricopa Superior Court

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

A new look leads off 2005! The changes will make it easier to find articles and go directly to documents of interest. The new design relies on links as it is believed that making a copy of the entire document available to our readers is better than a short summary. As always, check our What's New page frequently for up-to-date notices and documents. If you have a suggestion or a great idea, tell us - our commitment is to provide you with meaningful information in readable style.

Arizona Supreme Court Vacates Oral Argument

Interlocutory Appeals, In re the Preclusive Effect of the Globe Equity No. 59 Decree on Specified Parties, Gila River Adjudication: The Arizona Supreme Court vacated the oral argument in WC-02-0003-IR set on December 2, 2004, and granted interlocutory review on seven specified issues. The Court requested a joint status report from the parties in WC-02-0001-IR and in WC-02-0002-IR. The Superior Court's rulings and the background of the petitions for interlocutory review were last reported in the May-August 2004 issue of the Bulletin.


Little Colorado River Adjudication

Joint Hearing for Both Adjudications: On October 1, 2004, the Superior Court held the first joint hearing involving parties in both adjudications to discuss the State of Arizona's motions for partial summary judgment to establish the existence of federal reserved water rights on State Trust Lands. Similar motions have been filed in both adjudications. The motion was reported in the January-April 2004 issue of the Bulletin. The Court took the matter under advisement.

Meeting with Settlement Committee: Following the joint hearing on October 1, 2004, the Court took up an issue regarding the Hopi Tribe hydrographic survey report (HSR) and met with the Settlement Committee. The Court directed the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to work on the main reservation lands for the Hopi Tribe Preliminary HSR. The Court discussed with the Settlement Committee the possibilities of obtaining others to preside over negotiations. The Court suggested that the Settlement Committee locate a settlement judge or mediator to preside over the discussions and agreed to inquire as to whether there is a judge within the state who is able to assume that role.

In re Phelps Dodge Corporation (Show Low Lake): On October 1, 2004, ADWR filed the 120-day notice regarding the final supplemental contested case HSR for Phelps Dodge's water right claims for diversion and storage in Show Low Lake. All claimants in the Little Colorado River Adjudication should carefully read the notice.

On October 21, 2004, several claimants filed a motion seeking clarification and re-issuance of ADWR's 120-day notice. After granting a request for expedited consideration and briefing, the Special Master issued an order on December 6, 2004, denying the motion to clarify and re-issue the 120-day notice.

Phelps Dodge Corporation on November 8, 2004, filed a motion for a protective order limiting the scope of the final supplemental HSR. An expedited briefing period followed and on December 20, 2004, the Special Master denied Phelps Dodge's motion.

ADWR will file the supplemental HSR on January 30, 2005. The Department will mail an objection packet to: all persons on the mailing list for the contested case; all persons on the Little Colorado River Adjudication Court-Approved Mailing List; all claimant and nonclaimant water users in the Silver Creek Watershed; all persons who filed objections to the 1990 Final Silver Creek Watershed HSR; and every other claimant in the Little Colorado River Adjudication. The packet will include instructions about whether and how to file an objection to Phelps Dodge's water right claims to Show Low Lake. The last day to file objections will be August 1, 2005.

Gila River Adjudication

Salt River Project's Applications for Injunctive Relief: On October 1, 2004, the Court took up these five applications. The Court has issued an order setting dates for some of the parties to file settlement stipulations, if any, and disclosure statements in preparation for hearings. The matters involving two of the applications will be taken up after the Court rules on the Special Master's report on subflow issues.

In re Fort Huachuca: On October 21, 2004, Special Master Schade entered an order requesting reports from the United States and from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The United States reported that the Special Master could determine many of the elements of the Fort's reserved water rights without an HSR being prepared. ADWR reported that limited resources and outstanding legal issues hinder the preparation of an HSR at this time. A group of water companies recommended that settlement discussions be commenced. The Arizona Water Company moved to intervene in this case and suggested that consideration be given to taking up issues that would not require ADWR's technical assistance.

In re PWR 107 Claims: The Special Master on September 30, 2004, requested the United States to file a report on the status of settlement negotiations. The United States filed its report on November 30, 2004. Fully executed stipulations have been received by the United States from all objectors in this case except the City of Sierra Vista, the State of Arizona, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Sierra Vista is expected to stipulate and resolve its objections in the near future. The State's status as an objector may be in error. The San Carlos Apache Tribe is reviewing its objections and may agree to settle certain of them in the near future, leaving some objections to be resolved.

In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed: The Special Master filed his report to the Superior Court on July 16, 2004. Objections to the report, responses, and replies have been filed by more than a dozen parties. Judge Eddward P. Ballinger, Jr., has all of the briefing under advisement and will rule on the recommendations contained in the report in due course.

Arizona Water Settlements Act: Long-awaited federal legislation addressing numerous issues for Arizona was signed by President George W. Bush on December 10, 2004. The bill ratifies three settlements. One portion of the bill allocates 155,700 acre-feet to the Gila River Indian Community. Under another portion, the Tohono O'odham Nation receives 37,800 acre-feet. The third element reduces the debt owed by Arizona to the federal government for construction of the Central Arizona Project. The settlement agreements eventually will come before the Superior Court for review.

Other News

This past year, Frank C. Brophy, Jr., an esteemed member of the Arizona Bar and prominent water lawyer, passed away. Frank perfected the water rights for the Planet Ranch before it was sold to the City of Scottsdale which planned to use the rights. Frank loved talking about water law, and he took very seriously his position as General Partner of the Babocomari Ranch.

Frank was always interested in addressing the water right issues related to the San Ignacio del Babocomari Land Grant as they apply to the Babocomari Ranch, which is located on a portion of a land grant given by the Mexican Republic to Ignacio Elias and his wife in 1832. Frank was very proud of the land and the history of the Babocomari, a ranch that Father Eusebio Kino was said to have visited in 1697.

Frank was a gentleman of high graciousness, sharp intellect, and great disposition. He represented his clients well and diligently, and his professional work was productive and fruitful.


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

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