Saturday, September 1, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Big Cottonwood Creek Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Big Cottonwood Creek area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake/Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 18). The Big Cottonwood Creek area generally includes the area between Murray-Holladay Road on the north, Bengal Boulevard on the south, the Van Winkle Expressway on the west, and the Big Cottonwood Creek drainage boundary on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Willow Creek area
When: September 12, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1050, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729835), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Big Cottonwood Creek Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Big Cottonwood Creek area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Big Cottonwood Creek area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Assistant State Engineer)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Haik v. Jones

The Utah Supreme Court has issued its decision in the case of Haik v. Jones. The case started in April 2014 when Salt Lake City filed a change application to modify one of the City's water rights to add an additional 25 acres to the authorized place of use in order to allow for 10 homes to be built in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Mark Haik, who has engaged in several lawsuits against the City in the past two decades trying to force the City to serve water to his property in Little Cottonwood Canyon, protested the change application. Mr. Haik alleged, among other things, that the change application was not filed in good faith and that the City was violating the Utah Constitution, which prohibits cities from selling or otherwise disposing of its water rights. Despite Mr. Haik's protest, the State Engineer approved the change application.

Mr. Haik then petitioned the district court to review the State Engineer's decision. The City challenged Mr. Haik's standing to pursue the petition. The district court determined that Mr. Haik did not have proper standing, and dismissed his petition. Mr. Haik then appealed the district court's decision to the Utah Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court first analyzed whether Mr. Haik had "traditional standing." Utah Code section 73-3-14 provides that only "aggrieved" persons may seek judicial review of a State Engineer decision, and the Supreme Court has previously interpreted this statute to mean that a person must show "some distinct and palpable injury." Mr. Haik asserted that his status as a landowner in Little Cottonwood Canyon met this requirement. The Supreme Court disagreed, and held that Mr. Haik lacked traditional standing.

The Supreme Court then analyzed whether Mr. Haik qualified for "public interest standing." To qualify for public interest standing, a person must show that there is an issue of significant public importance and that the person is an appropriate party to pursue the action. Mr. Haik asserted that his constitutional claims met these requirements. The Supreme Court assumed, without deciding, that Mr. Haik's constitutional claims were of significant public interest. However, the Supreme Court determined that these claims were not properly before the court. The Supreme Court noted that the State Engineer does not have authority to adjudicate constitutional claims in a change application setting, and therefore constitutional claims could not be appealed to the district court and the Supreme Court.

Based on the foregoing, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of Mr. Haik's case.

To read the full opinion, click here.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Willow Creek Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Willow Creek area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake/Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 25). The Willow Creek area generally includes the area between 10600 South on the north, 12300 South on the south, the Jordan River on the west, and the Big Willow Creek and Little Willow Creek drainages boundary on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Willow Creek area
When: August 15, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1050, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729842), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Willow Creek Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Willow Creek area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Willow Creek area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Assistant State Engineer)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Training on Water Right Title

The Division of Water Rights will be hosting a training session on ownership and conveyance of water rights. The training will be held on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the Department of Natural Resources Building in Salt Lake City (1594 West North Temple) in Room 1040 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please RSVP to Chris York at cyork@utah.gov if you would like to attend or for further information.

Friday, July 6, 2018

State Engineer v. Johnson

The Utah Court of Appeals recently issued its decision in the case of Utah State Engineer v. Johnson. This case is part of the larger General Adjudication for the Utah Lake / Jordan River area.

In 1981, East Warm Creek Irrigation and Canal Company filed a Water User's Claim in the General Adjudication, which claimed the right to divert 4.96 cfs for the irrigation of 407.5 acres and stockwatering of 250 head. In 1985, the State Engineer filed the Proposed Determination with the district court, which included the Company's claimed water right. No one (including the Company) objected to the Company's claimed water right in the Proposed Determination.

In 1999, the Company filed a Diligence Claim with the State Engineer, which asserted the right to irrigate an additional 64.6 acres. The Company asserted that these 64.6 irrigated acres had been unintentionally omitted from its 1981 Water User's Claim. Two weeks after filing the Diligence Claim, the Company transferred a 50% interest in the Diligence Claim to Evan Johnson.

In 2000, the State Engineer filed an Amendment to the Proposed Determination with the Court, which recommended that the Company's Diligence Claim be disallowed. Johnson objected to the Amendment. Following several years of discovery and negotiation, the State Engineer moved for summary judgment on Johnson's objection. The State Engineer argued that the Diligence Claim was barred by Section 73-4-9 of the Utah Code and that the Diligence Claim could not modify the Proposed Determination because the only way to modify a Proposed Determination is through a properly filed objection -- which had not been filed. The district court agreed the State Engineer, and dismissed Johnson's objection. Johnson appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals.

Johnson argued that the Diligence Claim was proper and that the State Engineer denied his due process rights by issuing the Amendment to the Proposed Determination, which recommended that the Diligence Claim be disallowed. The Court of Appeals disagreed, and noted that Section 73-4-9 of the Utah Code specifically provides that a person who fails to timely file a claim in the General Adjudication "shall be forever barred and estopped from subsequently asserting any rights, and shall be held to have forfeited all rights all rights to the use of the water therefore claimed by him." Thus, the Court concluded that because the Company's 1981 claim asserted the right to irrigate only 407.5 acres, and because the Company did not object to this right as contained in the Proposed Determination, the Company was statutorily prohibited from later asserting additional irrigated acreage under the 1999 Diligence Claim. The Court of Appeals further held that Johnson's due process rights were not violated because Johnson's predecessor (the Company) had proper notice of the General Adjudication process, as evidenced by the fact that the Company participated in the General Adjudication proceedings.

Johnson also argued that the State Engineer should have been prohibited from seeking summary judgment due to its failure to prosecute the case in a timely manner. The Court of Appeals again disagreed. The Court of Appeals noted that General Adjudications are "highly unusual in nature" and take longer than normal cases. The Court also noted that Johnson had an obligation and opportunity to move the litigation forward, and did not do so. Finally, the Court noted that Johnson and the State Engineer had engaged in lengthy negotiations, which included a failed stipulation, which were a reasonable cause for delay in the case proceedings.

The Court of Appeals therefore affirmed the district court's dismissal of Johnson's objection. The end result is that the Company's Diligence Claim is disallowed, as proposed in the Amendment to the Proposed Determination.

To read the full opinion, click here.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Dimple Dell Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Dimple Dell area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake/Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 24). The Dimple Dell area generally includes the area between 8600 South on the north, 10600 South on the south, 700 East on the west, and the Dry Creek drainage boundary on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Dimple Dell area
When: July 17, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1040, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729841), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Dimple Dell Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Dimple Dell area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Dimple Dell area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Assistant State Engineer)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Fort Union Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Fort Union area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake/Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 22). The Fort Union area generally includes the area between I-215 on the north, 8600 South on the south, 700 East on the west, and Highland Drive on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Fort Union area
When: June 20, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1040, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729839), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Fort Union Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Fort Union area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Fort Union area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Gary Brimley, P.E. - Adjudication Program Manager)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Sandy / Midvale Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Sandy/Midvale area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake/Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 21). The Sandy/Midvale area generally includes the area between 7200 South on the north, 10600 South on the south, the Jordan River on the west, and 700 East on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Sandy/Midvale area
When: May 16, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1040, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729838), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Sandy/Midvale  Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Sandy/Midvale area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Sandy/Midvale area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Adjudication Program Manager)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in Moab Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the Moab North area in the Moab Division of the Southeastern Colorado River General Adjudication (Area 05, Book 2). The boundaries of the Moab North area are shown in the map below. The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the Moab North area
When: April 18, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Grand Center, 182 North 500 West, Moab
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Seventh Judicial District Court (Civil No. 810704477), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the Moab North Subdivision, Moab Division of the Southeastern Colorado River General Adjudication. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the Moab North area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the Moab North area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Adjudication Program Manager)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Public Meeting Concerning the General Adjudication in East Murray Area

The Utah Division of Water Rights has set a public meeting to discuss the general adjudication of water rights in the East Murray area in Salt Lake County East Division of the Utah Lake / Jordan River Drainage (Area 57, Book 20). The East Murray area generally includes the area between 4800 South on the north, I-215 on the south, State Street on the west, and Van Winkle Expressway on the east (see map below). The following information is from the public meeting notice:

What: Public Meeting
Who: Water Users within the East Murray area
When: April 17, 2018, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Department of Natural Resources, Room 1040, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
Purpose: In accordance with Chapter 73-4, Utah Code Annotated, and the Third Judicial District Court (Civil No. 365729837), the State Engineer is authorized and ordered to conduct a general determination of the rights to the use of all water, both surface and underground, within the drainage area of the East Murray Subdivision, Salt Lake County East Division, of the Utah Lake and Jordan River drainage in Salt Lake County. Efforts are currently underway and over the next few months, representatives of the Division of Water Rights will be working in the East Murray area to survey existing water rights and investigate water user's claims. In light of this work, the public is invited to a public meeting. Representatives from the Division of Water Rights will be available during this time to discuss the adjudication process, review water rights within the area, and answer questions. If individuals cannot attend, but have questions regarding the adjudication process or water rights within the East Murray area, please contact the Division of Water Rights at 801-538-5282.
Agenda:
1.  Introduction (Blake Bingham, P.E. - Adjudication Program Manager)
2.  Adjudication Process Presentation
3.  Public Comments and Questions

A live stream broadcast of the public meeting will also be available online at this link.

For more information about this meeting, click here.