Vol. 24, No. 1
January-April 2016

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.



Editor: Barbara K. Brown
Office of the Special Master
Maricopa Superior Court
Central Court Building 3A
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.

Gila River Adjudication

In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed: The evidentiary hearing regarding ADWR's Initial Progress Report concluded and the parties filed comments concerning implementation of Cone of Depression tests by November 6, 2015. On April 4, 2016, ADWR filed a third progress report. The Subflow map is now under consideration.

In re Sands: The Special Master has undertaken the preparation of the hundreds of proposed water rights in this case which are the subject of the de minimus decision and a partial agreement of the parties with respect to 179 of those claims. It is anticipated that a case management order will be issued prior to the publication of the next bulletin to the parties involved to continue the process of adjudicating their claims.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: At the status conference held on November 12, 2015, at the request of the parties, with no objection, a discovery deadline of November 30, 2016, was set and trial will be held in the fall of 2017.

In re Fort Huachuca: The Court and the Special Master concluded a one day site visit to Fort Huachuca on March 3, 2016. Discovery disputes and in camera review of documents for which the United States asserted privilege were also heard by the Special Master and resolved in March 2016. Discovery concluded in April. The parties will file dispositive motions by June 1, 2016, and trial will commence on October 3, 2016. It is anticipated to be a three week trial.

In re PWR 107 Claims, Gila River Adjudication: At a status conference on October 28, 2015, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the United States reported that settlement discussions were proceeding and requested additional time to complete a settlement agreement. On April 20, 2016, the parties jointly filed a report and agreement resolving the objections of the San Carlos Apache Tribe paving the way for the resolution of the remaining 16 water right claims asserted by the United States.

In re Redfield Canyon Wilderness Area: The Court and Special Master heard oral argument on January 7, 2016, on a motion for summary judgment filed by Freeport Minerals Corporation which is now under consideration. The parties will complete discovery by October 30, 2016. A two week trial has been set to begin April 24, 2017.

Little Colorado River Adjudication

Hopi Priority: On January 25, 2016, Judge Brain issued a ruling on the parties' motions for summary judgment. The Hopi Tribe, joined by the United States, filed a motion for reconsideration. On March 29, 2016, the Special Master conducted a status conference to address the issues that could not be appropriately decided by summary judgment. By June 23, 2016, the United States will file a title report for the land within the Hopi Reservation that identifies the dates on which the various land parcels included in the 1882 Executive Order were acquired by the United States.

New HSRs: Due to the need to proceed to completely adjudicate the claims of the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation, a hearing will be held on July 12, 2016, to determine land and water rights which should be included in new HSRs that will be prepared by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the elements that should be appropriately included in the new reports.

Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) Meeting

On February 26, 2016, Honorable Mark H. Brain and Special Master Susan Ward Harris met with Arizona Department of Water Resources' Director, Deputy Legal Counsel, and head of the Adjudication Division to generally review matters related to the expeditious progress of the adjudications and to discuss funding available to the Department to move forward on the work required by the adjudication. Currently the Special Master is scheduled to meet with the head of the Adjudication Division on May 26, 2016, to discuss the work the Department has undertaken in the San Pedro River Basin.

Other News


By George A. Schade, Jr., Former Special Master

The Honorable Stanley Z. Goodfarb, the first Water Judge of the Gila River Adjudication, passed away on January 10, 2016. Judge Goodfarb attended Tucson High School and the University of Arizona. After graduation from the College of Law, he served two years in the Army's Judge Advocate Corps at Fort Huachuca. He worked for many years as an assistant attorney general representing the Arizona Department of Transportation. In 1976, he was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court where he served for 18 years.

Judge Goodfarb's expertise in eminent domain and skills in dealing with technical evidence led to his appointment as the initial Water Judge. He greatly enjoyed developing policies and standards for the adjudication. He entered the early rulings on subflow that led to landmark opinions of the Arizona Supreme Court. He issued Pre-Trial Order No. 1 that established the framework for the case, and answered numerous and significant substantive and procedural issues for the management of the adjudication. In order to expedite the case, Judge Goodfarb brought on the first Special Master John E. Thorson and designated the first Gila River Adjudication Steering Committee. To assure due process, he originated the use of a centralized mailing list a feature that is now used in all adjudications.

Judge Goodfarb was the right person for the job when he was appointed, and his leadership of a complex litigation left an exemplary legacy.


Link here to the calendar of proceedings.

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