Vol. 23, No. 2
May-August 2015

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.

Appointment of Special Master, Susan Ward Harris

As of July 20, 2015, Susan Ward Harris was appointed as the Special Master of the Gila River Adjudication and the Little Colorado Adjudication. She replaces George Schade who served as the Special Master for fourteen years prior to his retirement earlier this year. Immediately before her appointment, Special Master Harris took a sabbatical in 2013, after nearly 30 years of practice, to earn a master's degree in hydrology at the University of Arizona, College of Science. Before her sabbatical, she practiced as a certified tax law specialist and handled a wide variety of transactional, business planning and litigation matters involving real estate transactions, trusts and estates, complex business transactions and corporate matters. Earlier in her career, her practice consisted of litigation involving tort, civil rights and regulatory issues. Special Master Harris earned her undergraduate degree from Pomona College, her law degree from Arizona State University and an LL.M. in tax law from Georgetown University.

Gila River Adjudication

Subflow Zone Map of the San Pedro River Watershed: At a hearing held on April 23, 2015, the Court set a four day evidentiary hearing for August 31, 2015 - September 3, 2015 and new time lines were set. The evidentiary hearing is currently in process.

During the Evidentiary Hearing in Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area on July 31, 2015, counsel requested a conference in case W1-103 re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed. As a result a status conference for case W1-103 was held August 14, 2015.

In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area: On May 20, 2015, the Court set an oral argument to coincide with the final trial management conference to be held May 28, 2015. At the conference on May 28, 2015, the Court denied the United States' Motion in Limine to Exclude Opportune Extraction Model and granted Salt River Project's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Freeport Minerals Corporation's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment was granted in part and denied in part.

An evidentiary hearing was held from July 13, 2015, to July 30, 2015, and continued on August 26-27, 2015. During the hearing on July 30, 2015, it was ordered that responses to Freeport Minerals Corporation's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law were due on August 27, 2015.

In re San Pedro River Watershed Contested Cases on Federal Reserved Water Rights: On July 10, 2015, Freeport Minerals Corporation, the United States and ASARCO LLC filed a joint motion to extend the deadline for filing non-claimant expert witnesses and further requested an extension of the deadline by which to complete all discovery from September 25, 2015, to September 30, 2016. The Special Master granted the extension of time to file the non-claimant expert witnesses until October 30, 2015, and set a status conference for September 1, 2015, to address outstanding discovery matters.

In re PWR 107 Claims, Gila River Adjudication: The parties filed a status report on March 13, 2015, and requested that the Court set the date for the next status report.

Final Hydrographic Survey Report for the Hopi Indian Reservation

On December 31, 2008, The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) filed a Preliminary HSR for the Hopi Reservation. The report concerns the water rights claimed by the Hopi Tribe and the United States on the Tribe's behalf for use on the Hopi Reservation. On March 9, 2009, the Court granted the joint request of the United States and the Hopi Tribe to extend the deadline for filing comments to the Hopi Reservation Preliminary Hydrographic Survey Report to June 30, 2009. On June 8, 2015, the Hopi Tribe filed a Third Amended Statement of Claimant. In response, ADWR extended the date of its filing of the final hydrographic survey report for the Hopi HSR from September 1, 2015, to December 18, 2015.

Other News

Effective June 19, 2015, Water Judge, Mark H. Brain, was reassigned from Civil Court to assume a Criminal Court calendar. The reassignment involved a change of address which is listed below:

Honorable Mark H. Brain
Judge of the Superior Court
Central Court Building, Suite 12A
201 West Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85003

All Court Approved Mailing Lists on the General Stream Adjudication Website have been updated to reflect Judge Brain's new address.


Link here to the calendar of proceedings.

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