Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
The Bulletin relies on links so the entire document is available to our readers. The Active Cases page provides copies of orders issued in the cases currently in process.
San Pedro River Watershed
Many of the remaining contested cases in the San Pedro River Watershed involving claims for water rights for irrigation use identify a well located outside the subflow zone as the source of water. Currently more than two dozen cases have been stayed pending approval of a test that will determine whether a well is depleting the subflow zone. A substantially larger number of cases have not been initiated to resolve claimed rights to appropriable water because the source of water is reported to be a well located outside the subflow zone. For example, in the Sierra Vista subwatershed, more than 60 cases have not been initiated because the watershed file reports prepared by ADWR list a well that provides the source of water which is located outside the subflow zone.
Arizona Department of Water Resources is in the process of developing a test to determine whether the wells that serve as the source of the water deplete the subflow zone. At a scheduling conference on June 17, 2022, ADWR reported that it is in the developmental phase of creating the model that will serve as the proposed test. It suggested holding a first meeting in January 2023 to present its work to interested parties, with a second meeting to be scheduled in July or August 2023. Based on this schedule, ADWR anticipates that it will issue a report in December 2023 that includes preliminary analysis and case studies. Once ADWR issues its final report, all claimants will have an opportunity to file comments or objections.
St. David Irrigation District
The contested case St. David Irrigation has entered the second phase with the entry of a Case Management Order on July 21, 2022, that will govern the adjudication of the claims for appropriable water in 144 contested cases. The St. David Irrigation District has designated seven individual contested cases as the first set of cases to be adjudicated under the procedures adopted by the Order. Status reports or stipulated abstracts are due for this set of cases on October 18, 2023.
Silver Creek Watershed
In August 2022, orders were issued in three contested cases claiming rights to water in the Silver Creek Watershed. Each of these cases had been the subject of proceedings in the 1990s but those proceedings halted before the entry of a final adjudication of the claimed water rights. These cases involve claims by the federal government, a state agency, and an irrigation district. A status conference for each of these cases will be held on September 29, 2022.
On August 23, 2022, a Final Report was issued addressing summary proceedings to adjudicate claims for water for stock and wildlife watering and stockponds in the Silver Creek Watershed. The report concluded that expedited procedures should be adopted to adjudicate all claims for stock and wildlife watering and for those claims asserting water rights for stockponds with a surface area of two acres or less. Objections to the report are due by February 20, 2023.
Link here to the calendar of Active Cases.
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