Vol. 19, No. 2
May-August 2011

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 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 Court Approved Mailing Lists

New Court approved mailing lists dated July 25, 2011, are posted. The lists contain all changes known to the office of the Special Master that were made between January 12, 2011, and July 25, 2011. The July 25, 2011, date will remain in effect until the lists are updated in January 2012, although changes will be regularly incorporated until then.

Special Procedural Order for Non-Indian Water Rights Settlements

The Gila River Adjudication Steering Committee met on June 1, 2011. At the Court's request, the Steering Committee discussed the possible adoption of a special procedural order for review and approval of non-Indian water rights settlements. The Committee suggested that the Arizona Supreme Court may have to approve such a special procedural order. Mr. Lauren J. Caster was designated the new Chair succeeding Mr. M. James Callahan.

The Little Colorado River Adjudication Settlement Committee met on May 5, 2011, to discuss the adoption of the special procedural order. The Settlement Committee filed a proposed draft order. The Committee selected Mr. John B. Weldon, Jr. as its new Chair.

Little Colorado River Adjudication

In re Hopi Tribe Priority: As requested at the April 19, 2011, telephonic conference, the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe jointly filed a status report on the progress of congressional legislation. These parties reported that drafts of a settlement agreement and settlement legislation were submitted on June 3, 2011, to Senator Jon L. Kyl, who advised the parties "that further negotiations are required with the Administration and the Congressional delegation prior to the introduction of settlement legislation." On September 7, 2011, the Special Master will hold a status conference.

Gila River Adjudication

Subflow Zone Map of the San Pedro River Watershed: The Court and the Special Master continue considering the objections filed to the Subflow Zone Delineation Report for the San Pedro River Watershed prepared by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) pursuant to the Court's September 28, 2005, order.

On April 4, 2011, the Court determined that a subsequent hearing to take testimony addressing further direction to ADWR on areas of concerns would be set prior to an evidentiary hearing and requested a revised pretrial statement. After reviewing a revised joint pretrial statement, on May 17, 2011, the Court set an evidentiary hearing on August 24, 25, and 26, 2011. On July 19, 2011, the Court held a telephonic hearing to consider a joint motion to continue the August evidentiary hearing and a motion for clarification of the May 17, 2011, minute entry. Following the telephonic conference, the Court moved the evidentiary hearing to January 24, 25, and 26, 2012, allowed the submission of revised expert witness declarations and declarations by parties who had not initially filed them, and requested an updated joint pretrial statement. A pretrial conference will be held on January 12, 2012.

In re Sands Group of Cases: The Special Master requested a report from the Arizona Department of Water Resources concerning guidance the Department may need to complete its assignments in this contested case. The assignments involve the summary adjudication process the Court approved for all existing de minimis uses that meet the criteria for small domestic, stockpond, and stockwatering uses. Former Special Master John E. Thorson recommended a summary adjudication process. Special Master Schade has met twice with the Department's staff to discuss ways to proceed with this case. After the Department files its report, the litigants in this case may file comments concerning the report.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: On August 16, 2011, the Special Master issued an order concerning the compliance of the United States with a prior order. The Special Master clarified certain matters and ruled that the Arizona Department of Water Resources' technical investigations for the preparation of a report due in April 2012, can continue as they are proceeding.

In re PWR 107 Claims: The Special Master requested a status report from the San Carlos Apache Tribe concerning the issues associated with the location of the reservation's southwest boundary. The Special Master granted the motion of the San Carlos Apache Tribe to allow the Tribe to file a status report on November 1, 2012. The Tribe recently approved private counsel's representation to address the issues.

In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area: On September 8, 2011, the Special Master will hear oral argument on the motions for summary judgment filed by the United States, Freeport-McMoRan Corporation, and Salt River Project. The motions address seven issues designated for briefing that concern the adjudication of claimed reserved water rights. A similar process was implemented in the contested cases involving the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and Fort Huachuca.

Concerning a request to be placed on the Court approved mailing list of this case, the Special Master allowed responses to the request and invited comments on important issues raised regarding the use of mailing lists.

In re Powers Garden Administrative Site: The Special Master requested a report from the settling parties concerning the status of negotiations and any issues whose resolution would expedite the conclusion of this case. The parties reported that they have "exchanged proposals on the description of the purpose of use element of a water right," and discussions continue with an expectation that negotiations will conclude "in the near future" as at "this time, settlement of outstanding objections remains a possibility."

In re Applications of Salt River Project for Injunctive Relief: These matters involve applications for injunctive relief in the Verde River Watershed. Most of the applications have been resolved, but several remain while the litigants discuss potential settlements.

In the matter involving Respondents Henry, Kasper, Ray, and Stryker, the Salt River Project (SRP) filed a motion for summary judgment. On July 21, 2011, at the request of the parties, the Court extended the date for these respondents to answer SRP's motion to October 17, 2011.

SRP also filed a motion for summary judgment in the matters involving Respondents Robinson and Chester-Campbell, L.L.C. On July 21, 2011, at the request of the parties, the Court granted the respondents until October 17, 2011, to file a response to SRP's summary judgment motion.

In the matter of the NBJ Ranch, L.P., following an evidentiary hearing and a ruling, the parties requested the Court's permission to engage in negotiations to determine if an agreement could be reached. The Court set a telephonic conference for June 9, 2011, to review the status of negotiations. On June 9, 2011, the Court granted a stipulated dismissal with prejudice of SRP's application for injunctive relief against NBJ Ranch L. P. and vacated the telephonic conference. The dismissal ends this matter.

E-mail Distribution Lists
The office of the Special Master maintains electronic mail lists of counsel and parties, already included in the Court approved mailing lists, for the following matters:
  • The Gila River Adjudication:
    • In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed, Contested Case No. W1-103
    • In re State Trust Lands, Contested Case No. W1-104 and CV 6417-100
    • In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Contested Case No. W1-11-232
    • In re Fort Huachuca, Contested Case No. W1-11-605
    • In re PWR 107 Claims, Contested Case No. W1-11-1174
    • In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area, Contested Case No. W1-11-3342
    • In re Powers Garden Administrative Site, Contested Case No. W1-11-3423
  • The Little Colorado River Adjudication:
    • In re Hopi Tribe Priority, and the
  • Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin.

The e-mail lists are used as a courtesy and at our discretion whenever we believe counsel and parties will benefit by receiving a copy of an order in advance of postal delivery. The Clerks of the Maricopa County Superior Court and Apache County Superior Court will distribute paper copies.

Paralegals, legal assistants, and secretaries who work with counsel have asked to be added to the e-mail lists. We have added them as a matter of course. If a paralegal, legal assistant, secretary, or technical person working with counsel wishes to be added to an e-mail list, let us know, and we will add you. The e-mail distribution list for the Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin is open to any interested person. Concerning privacy, we do not provide electronic mail addresses to others.

Other News

M. James Callahan: Attorney Jim Callahan, who worked at both the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the City of Phoenix Attorney's Office, retired in June. His career spanned the early planning stages of the adjudications, the first ten interlocutory appeals before the Arizona Supreme Court, and the litigation of contested cases in the Gila River Adjudication. He commanded high knowledge of procedure, ethics, and trial practice. Jim was a longtime member of the Gila River Adjudication Steering Committee, which he chaired prior to his retirement. He represented the City of Phoenix well ever looking out for the City's interests.

David A. Keadle: The Arizona Department of Water Resources appointed Mr. Keadle Adjudications Projects Management Supervisor. Mr. Keadle will supervise the adjudications staff and coordinate the technical assistance provided by others. David has worked in the Department's Hydrology Division, Surface Water Division, and Office of Water Engineering. He obtained a B. A. in Geography and Geology from Arizona State University in 1991 and began working at the Department in 1996. He will contribute substantial knowledge and experience to the technical aspects of the adjudications.

Robin Tomlinson: For the past three years, Courtroom Clerk Robin Tomlinson has prepared the hearing minute entries for the Gila River Adjudication. She showed great interest in the proceedings, took good notes, and was prompt. Robin told us, "Having the opportunity to be a part of these hearings sparked many a lively conversation with my closest friends, many of whom had not really stopped to consider the implications of water rights, where they might originate, and how difficult it might be to find a way to fairly and equitably divide those rights." Thank you for your assistance and commitment.


Link here to the calendar of proceedings.

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