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Utah Division of Water Rights Announces New Tool to Track Status of Change Applications

by Graham J. Gilbert On June 22, 2020, the Utah Division of Water Rights (also referred to as the State Engineer’s Office) released a new tool to assist with tracking permanent water right change applications.  Change applications propose modifications to existing water rights.  For instance, a change application may modify a water right’s point of […]

GG
Former Counsel

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: AZ Drought Contingency Plan Stakeholders Recruited for Next Phase of Colorado River Work

by Fred Breedlove On Thursday, June 25, 2020, Arizona’s Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (“LBDCP”) Steering Committee (aka the “Drought Contingency Plan Committee”) is scheduled to reconvene and take on a new name and a new task.  The LBDCP will become the Arizona Reconsultation Committee (the “ARC”) to develop a consensus among Arizona’s Colorado River […]

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Wastewater Flows Can Predict COVID-19 Spread

by Patrick Paul As we reported previously, researchers at Arizona State University in Tempe have been evaluating the possible link between wastewater and the spread of the coronavirus in local communities.  Similar research is also being conducted in Northern Arizona and throughout the world. More particularly Crystal Hepp, an assistant professor at the Northern Arizona […]

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Ninth Circuit Wetlands Ruling Muddies the Waters for Development Nationwide

by John W. Andrews On Thursday, May 28, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to stay on appeal a lower court ruling which has already had a nationwide impact on permitting of oil and gas pipelines that cross streams and wetlands.  The underlying dispute arose from the long-standing controversy over […]

WOTUS Redefined: The New Definition of Waters of the United States

by Farris J. Gillman On April 21, 2020, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized a new definition of waters of the United States (sometimes called “WOTUS”). This new definition has fundamental implications for the application of point source permits under Section 402 (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) and dredge and fill permits […]

FG
Former Associate

Drought and Water Demand Continues in Spite of COVID-19 Pandemic

by Fred Breedlove The demands on government and private water providers to address the declining availability of water resources in the southwest did not get a reprieve, unfortunately, when the COVID-19 virus emerged in February. Last August, I wrote that even though the snowpack that feeds the Colorado River was 145% of normal for 2018-2019, […]

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EPA Issues Guidance Concerning Coronavirus and Drinking Water

by L. William Staudenmaier The United Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidance (https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater#tapwater) regarding the status of public drinking water systems in light of the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the country.  In the guidance document, EPA states that “[b]ased on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low.  Americans can […]

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Opportunities for Public Involvement Regarding the Pinal County Active Management Area

by Fred Breedlove We posted very recently about the public’s opportunity to shape water conservation policy in Arizona Active Management Areas (“AMAs”), but there are presently two other opportunities to develop Arizona water policy that the public can get involved in. In the Pinal AMA, efforts are ongoing to address a shortfall of groundwater supplies […]

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Plaintiffs Seeking to Expand Scope of PFAS Actions

by Mitchell J. Klein Because proving who is responsible for introducing PFAS contamination into water supplies can be difficult and expensive, and pursuing government entities such as military bases, firefighting training facilities and airports is particularly problematic, the manufacturers of PFAS-containing products appear to be easier targets. Thus, private well owners and public water utilities that […]

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MK

Management Plan Work Group Offers Public Opportunity to Develop Water Policies

by Fred Breedlove Arizona’s 1980 Groundwater Code offers a unique opportunity for the public to get involved in shaping water policy through the process of adopting management plans for the Active Management Areas (“AMAs”).  The process is playing out now and there are still opportunities to make your voice heard. There are five AMAs, generally […]

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