Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

Righteous river

Lawsuit asks judge to grant the Colorado River rights

The Colorado River in southeastern Utah. It is the subject of a lawsuit that asks a judge to recognize it as a person. (Francisco Kjolseth/Salt Lake Tribune)

Salt Lake Tribune

New York Times

Does a river have rights? This is the question in what attorneys are calling a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit, in which a Denver lawyer and an environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person. If successful, it could upend environmental law. The suit was filed Monday in Federal District Court in Colorado by Jason Flores-Williams, a Denver lawyer. It names the river ecosystem as the plaintiff and seeks to hold Colorado and its governor liable for violating the river’s “right to exist, flourish, regenerate, be restored, and naturally evolve.”


U.S., Mexico sign historic Colorado River deal

Las Vegas Review-Journal & High Country News

U.S.-Mexico officials gathered in Santa Fe on Wednesday to sign a new water pact that brings Mexico in as a full partner on the Colorado River. The historic agreement spells out how much Mexico would have to reduce its river use in the event of a shortage on the Colorado and how much extra water the nation would get in a surplus. Nevada, Arizona and California have agreed in principle to similar voluntary cuts. However, a move earlier this week by California's largest water district threatens the entire river plan.


Arizona governor wants major water law rewrite

Arizona Capitol Times

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office is pushing for a spate of changes aimed at altering water laws, from groundwater rules to audits of another public body. The proposed laws have already rankled some lawmakers and the Central Arizona Project, setting up what could be a major battle during the 2018 legislative session. Many of the dozen proposals focus on mundane, wonky water details, but have big implications for water management in Arizona’s desert landscape.