District of Columbia
• Jordan, Syria
The nations of Syris and Jordan have
entered negotiations over disputed water inthe
Yarmouk river, which has fed both counties.
Israel also has made some claims on the water.
Jordan is the river's primary water user, but Syria often has used it
as well during high water periods.
Huntsville gains massive water rights
2006| The city of Huntsville in October contracted for a firm
20 million gallons of water per day from the Trinity River Authority.
City officials said that would provide a stable and predictable water
rate for years, and allow enough water for expected growth.
The city already has had a similar deal with the authority for 10
million gallons, but concluded that would not be enough and decided to
double it. [Huntsville,
Antelope aquifer hangs in balance
to draw on the southern California Antelope Valley aquifer, and a legal
boundary of the aquifer's area, is hanging in the balance as Santa
Clara County Superior Court Judge Jack Komar prepares to deliver a
The case, seven years in development, stands to affect the water use of
hundreds in the area.
Initial lawsuits in the case were developed by Diamond Farming
Co.in 1999 and the Wm.
Bolthouse Farms Inc. in 2001. They were asking for groundwater rights
which traditionally were managed by Antelope Valley water
districts and several government entities.
agencies. The companies were seeking priority
rights to the water beneath their Antelope Valley farmland.
Los Angeles Daily News
quoted Tom Bunn, attorney representing water districts
at Palmdale and Quartz Hill: "The main issue at the
hearing was whether we could just include in
this lawsuit people having rights to groundwater or if we had to
include people who live in the mountains next to surface streams from
which the groundwater basin gets its water. The federal
government is saying we need to include those folks in order to have it
be a comprehensive adjudication."
Denver fields Vail-area lawsuit
The county and city of Denver was
in October hit by a lawsuit from the
Eagle River area, claiming that water passed through the Vail and Eagle
River areas - which Denver and parts of the Front Range are using -
should properly be reserved fro the use of people in local areas.
Denver's actions in this case are not new; they stem from water rights
on the Western Slope that the city purchased in the 1960s. Those rights
are, however, "conditional," meaning that special usage requirements
are attached to them. On a six-year schedule, the urban center has to
re-justify its use of the water - and that usage is what some local
Western Slope activists are challenging.
The Eagle River Water and Sanitation
District is arguing that the Denver water managers have not
kept up with their proper due diligence. Denver officials
have countered that they have been developing their water use plans
with an eye toward accommodating expected growth in the Denver area.
West Slope officials argue in response that Denver is in
effect obtaining water for speculative purposes, a use which is not
allowed under Colorado water law. [See Vail
Salmon turns to groundwater
13, 2006| A project
coordinator for the Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project.
said the city of Salmon is planning to move away from use of surface
water toward use of groundwater, with the aim of helping salmon fish
The decision is
expected to affect flows in the lower Lemhi River, which passes through
the city of Salmon.
Russell Knight, the project manager, said that the city already has
begun transferring its rights from the Lemhi River, which is considered
a critical flow for some salmon, to groundwater areas near the city. [Capitol News,
• Talent sells
The small city of Talent, Oregon, long has had available to it 28.4
acre feet of water, courtesy of the Talent Irrigation District. the
problem is, it hasn't been using that water, and has been paying $1,713
a year to hold on to them.
So it plans to sell.
Consultants have told the city that local agricultural interests may be
willing to pay $100,000 for the rights, and at a meeting in October,
prospective buyers were making their presence felt already.
The city also receives, and will maintain, other water from
the Talent Irrigation District, which it continues to use for general
municipal purposes. [see Medford Mail
Tribune, October 9]
| Notes from all
RECREATION WATER RIGHTS A state
representative and former water manager has an
interesting take on Colorado recreation water rights in the
TAKING ON THE MEXICO CITY FORUM
opinion in the Cook County News Herald of
Grand Marais, Minnesota, blasted the approach taken at the March Fourth
World Water Forum in Mexico City which equated water rights with human
"After the first day of the meeting, however, it
became clear that the government and corporate agents were only
interested in turning water management into a business opportunity,
whereupon the NGOs and activists established an alternative forum
intent on identifying access to clean water as a fundamental right . .
. If we accept the position that water is a common good, and an
inalienable right shared by all people, does that mean that folks in
China or France have as much right to Lake Superior’s water
as we do?
Perhaps we would be better served if we didn’t use the
concept of human rights to justify our control of Lake
Superior’s water, but rather, focused on Cibber’s
observation that possession is eleven points in the law."