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Voluntary conveyance of the right to receive a water supply from the united states bureau of reclamation - səhifə 11

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. . [T]he scope of the appropriative rights in connection with a federal reclamation project must [include] the right, by proper means, to collect seepage waters from any part of the lands, and to reapply them upon other lands within the project and under the appropriation. Id.

332

Trelease, supra note 63, at 471.

333

United States v. Haga, 276 F. 41, 43-44 (D. Idaho 1921).

334

See, e.g., Repayment Contract Between the United States of America and the A & B Irrigation District, supra note 35, § 26(a), reprinted in RECLAMATION REPAYMENT CONTRACTS, supra note 35, at 33:

The United States does not abandon or relinquish any of the waste, seepage, or return flow waters attributable to the irrigation of the lands to which water is reserved under this contract. All such waters are reserved and intended to be retained for the use and benefit of the United States as a source of supply for the project.

Id.; see also, Contract Between the United States of America and the Uintah Water Conservancy District § 21(b) (July 14, 1958) (Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, Contract No. 14-06-400-778), reprinted in RECLAMATION REPAYMENT CONTRACTS, supra note 35, at 101 (‘The United States claims all of the waste, seepage, and return flow water derived from water delivered pursuant to this contract and the same is hereby reserved and retained by the United States for beneficial use on the project.’).

335

See, e.g., Contract Between the United States, the State of California, and Kern-Tulare Water District, Providing for Water Service from the Central Valley Project § 9(b) (November 30, 1976) (Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, Contract No. 14-06-200-8601A).

The United States reserves the right to all waste, seepage, and return flow water derived from water furnished to the Contractor . . . which escapes or is discharged beyond the Contractor’s boundaries after such water has been conveyed through the delivery structure. Nothing herein shall be construed as claiming for the United States any rights, as waste, seepage, or return flow, to water being used pursuant to this contract for surface irrigation or underground storage within the Contractor’s boundaries by the Contractor, or those claiming by or through the Contractor.

Id.; see also Contract Between the United States and Westlands Water District for Temporary Water Service from San Luis Unit and Mendota Pool, 1981, at § 7(d) (December 19, 1980) (Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, Contract No. 1-07-20-W0218):

The United States reserves the right to the use of all waste, seepage, and return flow water derived from water furnished to the District hereunder and which escapes or is discharged beyond the District’s boundaries and nothing herein shall be construed as an abandonment or relinquishment by the United States of the right to use of any such water.

Id.

336

43 U.S.C. §§ 419, 461 (1982).

337

Act of May 25, 1926, ch. 383, 44 Stat. 649 (codified at 43 U.S.C. § 423e (1982).

Note, however, that the Warren Act still authorizes the Bureau to sell or rent excess capacity to individuals holding private water rights. See infra text accompanying notes 363-69.


338

2 WATER AND WATER RIGHTS, supra note 1, § 123.2(H), at 270.

339

43 U.S.C. § 485a(g) (1982).

340

Id.§ 485h(d).

341

A. GOLZÉ, supra note 149, at 241.

342

See supra text accompanying notes 299-325.

343

United States v. Imperial Irrigation Dist., 559 F.2d 509, 529 (9th Cir. 1977), modified on other grounds, 595 F.2d 524, 525 (1979); see also Murphy v. Kerr, 296 F. 536, 540 (D.N.M. 1923) (stating that a majority of western states have declared that ownership of natural streams in the state are ‘owned by the state and held in trust for the people’); Ivanhoe Irrigation Dist. v. All Parties, 47 Cal. 2d 597, 624, 306 P.2d 824, 840 (1957) (reaffirming that the irrigation district is a trustee for landowners), rev’d on other grounds sub nom. Ivanhoe Irrigation Dist. v. McCracken, 357 U.S. 275 (1958); Holguin v. Elephant Butte Irrigation Dist., 91 N.M. 398, 401, 575 P.2d 88, 91 (1977) (reaffirming that under the Reclamation Act the United States is a trustee, not an owner of water).

This doctrine reflects the historical development in the relationship between irrigators and organizations that created their own supplies pursuant to water rights held in their corporate names, e.g., supplies independent of the Bureau of Reclamation. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, when these land and water companies were widely incorporated to develop water supplies in large river valleys, the contracting farmers were more or less at the companies’ mercy regarding the terms of their own water contracts. Statutory and judicial reforms gave the customers protection in the form of a ‘property right independent of and superior to the contract right he had from the company.’ Trelease, supra note 63, at 476. As a result, in external relations with other appropriators, the distributor was the “proprietor of the [appropriation],’ but internally, between the distributor and the consumer, the consumer had property rights that the courts would protect from arbitrary action by the distributor.’ Id. (quoting City & County of Denver v. Brown, 56 Colo. 216, 222, 138 P. 44, 46-47 (1913)).


344

The substantiality of the district’s equitable interest (or project right) is demonstrated by its taxability as property.

The federal title to the project facilities and associated water rights is exempt from state taxation under McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819). However, the beneficial claims—held by a contracting district and member irrigators—may be taxable to those parties. In Northside Canal Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 8 F.2d 739 (D. Wyo. 1925), modified, 17 F.2d 55 (8th Cir. 1926) (on the question of whether, for the purpose of tax assessment, the property is located in the state of diversion or the state of use), cert. denied, 274 U.S. 740 (1927), the plaintiff (a private water company) protested the assessment of a property tax against its project right. The plaintiff asserted, among other arguments, that such a tax was in effect against the United States because the government retained title to and control over the reservoir. 8 F.2d at 740. This claim was rejected:

Under the contract with the plaintiff, the [Federal] government appears to have given the plaintiff the absolute right to the use of a certain quantity of that water to be delivered to it at the reservoir in the state of Wyoming. The government by its contract parted with its right to the use of the disposed-of portion of the waters so appropriated for a valuable consideration which is the equivalent to a grant to the plaintiff. Under the authorities heretofore cited, if the legal title of the government in lands where there is a beneficial ownership in their use in another does not exempt that property from taxation, . . . how can the ownership of the government of the reservoir or the control and management of it, together with the waters therein contained, affect for taxation purposes a water right which the government has granted and transferred to another? Id. at 746.

345

See infra notes 363-69 and accompanying text.

346

Named after its statutory source, Act of August 4, 1939, ch. 418, § 9(d), 53 Stat. 1187, 1195 (current version at 43 U.S.C. § 485h(d) (1982)).

347

43 U.S.C. § 485h(d)(1), (3), (4) (1982).

348

Id. § 485h(d)(2).

349

Id. § 485h(d)(3).

350

Id. § 485h(d)(1), (3).

351

Id. § 485h(d)(3).

352

[T]he other party to any contract entered into pursuant to subsection (d) . . . shall, during the term of the contract and of any renewal thereof and subject to fulfillment of all obligations thereunder, have a first right (to which right the rights of the holders of any other type of irrigation water contract shall be subordinate) to a stated share or quantity of the project’s available water supply for beneficial use on the irrigable lands within the boundaries of, or owned by, the party and a permanent right to such share or quantity upon completion of payment of the amount assigned for ultimate return by the party subject to payment of an appropriate share of such costs, if any, as may thereafter be incurred by the United States in its operation and maintenance of the project works . . .. Id. § 485h-1(4).

353

Named after its statutory source, Act of August 4, 1939, ch. 418, § 9(e), 53 Stat. 1187, 1196 (current version at 43 U.S.C. § 485h(e) (1982)).

354

43 U.S.C. § 485h(e). Such a contract, however, is ‘applicable only to works connected with water supply and do[es] not apply to distribution systems.’ SAN LUIS REPORT, supra note 173, 275 app. C at 280.

355

43 U.S.C. § 485h(e).

356

Trelease, supra note 63, at 479. Professor Maass suggests several other reasons for such contracts in the Central Valley Project: (1) In a complex project with highly integrated facilities and purposes, 9(d) contracts would ‘introduce serious rigidity into the operation . . . [which] would result in the attainment of less than the maximum benefits that can be derived from all purposes of the project’; (2) Bureau officials were convinced that full financial integration between project functions (e.g., irrigation supply, M&I supply, and hydroelectricity) would be facilitated by using the same kind of service contracts as public utilities; (3) CVP officials also believed that 9(e) contracts were more suitable for the ‘postage stamp’ rates the Bureau intended to charge (under these rates, all customers for a given use within a large service area would pay the same rate, regardless of their distance from the major supply facilities). Maass, Administering the CVP, 38 CALIF. L. REV. 666, 672-73 (1950).

357

NATIONAL WATER COMM’N, supra note 58, at 264. The California Irrigation Districts Association objected to such contracts for Central Valley Project water because they believed that ‘[n]o water rights whatever are acquired by irrigation districts through the purchase of water . . ..’ Maass, supra note 356, at 673.

This use of the term ‘water right,’ both by the National Water Commission and the districts’ accociation, is technically inaccurate. The state-granted water right (under which the federal project operates) does not pass to the irrigators under any reclamation contract. It is true, however, that prior to the 1956 statutory amendment, a 9(e) contract created a kind of project right inferior to a 9(d) contract in that it did not include a provision for automatic renewal.


358

Ivanhoe Irrigation Dist. v. All Parties, 47 Cal. 2d 597 (1957), rev’d on other grounds sub nom. Ivanhoe Irrigation Dist. v. McCracken, 357 U.S. 275 (1958).

359

Id. at 643.

360

Id. at 646-48.

361

Ivanhoe Irrigation Dist. v. McCracken, 357 U.S. 275, 297-98 (1958); see also43 U.S.C. § 485h-1(4) (1982) (stating that both 9(d) and 9(e) contracts have first right to a stated share of the project’s available water).

362

Trelease, supra note 63, at 481. Of course, a 9(d) contractor may not permanently receive a water supply on the basis of the original contract alone if the term of the contract expires before repayment is completed (due to costs unanticipated at the time the contract was signed).

363

43 U.S.C. §§ 523-524 (1982) (original version at ch. 141, 36 Stat. 925 (1911)).

364

Named after its statutory source, Warren Act § 1, 43 U.S.C. § 523.

365

Id.

366

Trelease, supra note 63, at 478; see, e.g., J. B. Bean v. United States, 163 F. Supp. 838 (Ct. Cl. 1958). In Bean, the plaintiffs challenged the Bureau’s recapture of project seepage during a drought for redelivery to project lands instead of continued delivery to plaintiffs’ lands under a Warren Act contract. The United States Court of Claims denied the plaintiffs’ petition for compensation for the taking of their water interests:

The contract entered into [between the Bureau and plaintiffs’ Hudspeth Irrigation District] follows the Warren Act and makes clear that the rights of the landowners in the District are inferior to those in the project, and that when the project lands need the water, they are entitled to it, and landowners in the District cannot complain when it is given to them.

Id. at 842.

367

43 U.S.C. § 523 (emphasis added).

368

Warren Act § 2, 43 U.S.C. § 524 (1982).

369

Memorandum from Keith Eastin, supra note 227, at 9; see, e.g., Northside Canal Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 8 F.2d 739, 740 (D. Wyo. 1925), modified on other grounds, 17 F.2d 55 (8th Cir. 1926), cert. denied, 274 U.S. 740 (1927), which concerned the plaintiff’s right, under § 2 of the Warren Act, to water from Jackson Lake, Wyoming. The canal company had contracted with the Bureau to raise the dam 17 feet. The work was to be done under the Bureau’s supervision and at the company’s expense, and the title of the dam was to remain with the United States. The contract entitled the canal company to a perpetual supply—namely all water available as a result of the extra storage.

370

43 U.S.C. § 485e (1982) defines delinquency as being in arrears in the advance payment of operation and maintenance charges or ‘toll charges’ and being in arrears for more than 12 months in the payment of construction charges.

371

‘[A]ny such contract shall require that no water shall be delivered to lands or parties which are in arrears . . ..’ Id.

372

See infra text accompanying note 465.

373

See, e.g., Repayment Contract Between the United States of America and the A & B Irrigation District, supra note 35, § 17(c), reprinted in RECLAMATION REPAYMENT CONTRACTS, supra note 35, at 23.

374

See, e.g., Contract Between the United States and Orestimba Water District Providing for Water Service § 3(a) (November 27, 1959) (Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dep’t of the Interior Contract No. 14-06-200-8091), reprinted in RECLAMATION REPAYMENT CONTRACTS, supra note 35, at 50; Contract Between the United States and Westlands Water District for Temporary Water Service from San Luis Unit and Mendota Pool, 1981, supra note 335, § 3(a).

375

43 U.S.C. § 372 (1982).

376

United States v. Alpine Land & Reservoir Co., 697 F.2d 851, 855 (9th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 863 (1983).

377

697 F.2d 851 (9th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 863 (1983).

378

Id. at 853, 855-56.

379

Id. at 857.

380

Id. at 855.

381

Id.

382

Id. (quoting California v. United States, 438 U.S. 645, 668 n.21 (1978)).

383

318 U.S. 363 (1943).

384

Id. at 367 (footnote omitted).

385

Alpine Land & Reservoir Co., 697 F.2d at 853.

386

1 WATERS AND WATER RIGHTS, supra note 1, § 19.2, at 85.

387

Id. at 853 (quoting 35 CONG. REC. 6677 (1902) (statement of Rep. Mondell)).

388

Id. at 855.

389

Id. (quoting Farmers Highline Canal & Reservoir Co. v. City of Golden, 129 Colo. 575, 585, 272 P.2d 629, 634 (1954)).

390

Id. (citations omitted).

391

See supra note 24 for estimates of the conservation possibilities.

392

In Yuma County Water Users’ Ass’n v. Udall, 231 F. Supp. 548 (D.D.C. 1964), the district court refused to grant the plaintiff an injunction against the Secretary of the Interior’s order lessening the plaintiff’s water deliveries, given undisputed evidence that the district consistently ordered more water than its members needed and then dumped the unused excess into the Colorado River at a point where other appropriators could rarely capture it. There are very few such instances where the Interior Secretary has taken the initiative to lessen deliveries on the ground of nonbeneficial use.

393

The cheapness of the Federal irrigation supply, resulting from subsidies discussed supra notes 216-25, may discourage district investment in conservation measures.

394

Cf.CAL. WATER CODE § 1011(a) (West Supp. 1986):

When any person entitled to the use of water under an appropriate right fails to use all or any part of the water because of water conservation efforts, any cessation or reduction in the use of such appropriated water shall be deemed equivalent to a reasonable beneficial use of water to the extent of such cessation or reduction in use. No forfeiture of the appropriative right to the water conserved shall occur upon the lapse of the forfeiture period applicable to [such appropriation].


395

See infra text accompanying notes 559-78.

396

Where all of the water right is to be severed from the land to which it was attached, provision should be made in the closing transaction which will assure that the land will never again be irrigated with water from the same source. That is, provision should be made to assure that the duty of the water once associated with the land is effectively transferred to the purchaser. An effective technique for accomplishing this result is for the purchaser to acquire the land and hold it as dry land. Another approach is to acquire only a small portion of the land and bind the remainder to it by covenants running with both parcels that neither shall ever again be irrigated with water from the previous source.

Ross, supra note 261, at 505; see also supra note 117 (regarding El Paso’s use of the first of Mr. Ross’ approaches).


397

2 WATER AND WATER RIGHTS, supra note 1, § 118.4, at 189.

398

1 WATER AND WATER RIGHTS, supra note 1, § 53.5, at 359-60 (‘The appropriator’s right is measured by a definite quantity of water used beneficially, and since priority determines allocation, the senior appropriator is entitled to his full share even if there is not enough water for others with junior rights.’).

399

Act of June 13, 1962, § 11, Pub. L. No. 87-483, 76 Stat. 96, 99.

400

See 2 WATER AND WATER RIGHTS, supra note 1, § 118.4, at 189.

401

Id.

402

43 U.S.C. §§ 617a-617v (1982 & Supp. III 1985).

403

Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546, 593 (1963).

404

United Draft Memorandum by Merlin Ahrens, supra note 160.

With this policy, Reclamation meets all or nearly all M&I water demands up to the contract amount. Irrigation demands are given the contract quantity when available but are assured of an ‘adequate supply.’ By an ‘adequate supply,’ we mean that cumulative irrigation shortages over the worst 10-year drought on record will not exceed 100 percent of the annual demand and the worst 1-year shortage does not exceed 50 percent of the annual demand. We are currently reevaluating this design irrigation shortage criteria for possible modification.

Id.

405

See C. MEYERS & R. POSNER, supra note 38, app. 1 at 3-18.

406

CAL. WATER CODE §§ 382, 387 (West Supp. 1986).

407

43 U.S.C. § 523 (1982).

408

See infra notes 466-84 and accompanying text.

409

5 U.S.C. § 706(2) (1982); see supra note 76.

410

43 U.S.C. § 501 (1982).

411

Murphy v. Kerr, 296 F. 536, 545 (D.N.M. 1923).

412

Nevada v. United States, 463 U.S. 110, 126 (1983).

413

See, e.g., Ivanhoe Irrigation District v. McCracken, 357 U.S. 275, 285 (1958) (Irrigators in the Madera Irrigation District are supplied with CVP water from the San Joaquin River ‘in which they never had or were able to obtain any water right.’ (emphasis added)).

414

43 U.S.C. § 541 (1982).

415

Yellen v. Hickel, 335 F. Supp. 200, 205 (S.D. Cal. 1971), supplemented by352 F. Supp. 1300 (S.D. Cal. 1972).

416

Laws and Regulations Relating to the Reclamation of Arid Lands by the United States, 45 Pub. Lands Dec. 385, 402 (1916).

417

Act of May 15, 1922, ch. 190, § 1, 42 Stat. 541, 541 (current version at 43 U.S.C. § 511 (1982)).

418

Yellen v. Hickel, 335 F. Supp. at 206 (construing 43 U.S.C. § 512 (1982)).

419

Act of May 25, 1926, ch. 383, § 46, 44 Stat. 639, 649 (current version at 43 U.S.C. § 423e (1982)).

420

See Nevada v. United States, 463 U.S. 110, 122-25 (1983).

421

16 U.S.C. § 835 (1982). The ptovision for individual contracts apparently was intended to insure that no water would be delivered to lands defined as ‘excess.’ See, e.g., Israel v. Morton, 549 F.2d 128 (9th Cir. 1977).

422

See, e.g., United States v. Alpine Land & Reservoir Co., 697 F.2d 851, 853 (9th Cir. 1983) (Newlands Project), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 863 (1983).

423

See, e.g., Nebraska v. Wyoming, 325 U.S. 589, 614 (1945) (North Platte and Kendrick Projects).

424

See, e.g., Yuma County Water Users’ Ass’n v. Udall, 231 F. Supp. 548, 549 (D.D.C. 1964) (Yuma Project).

425

See supra text accompanying notes 375-96.

426

43 U.S.C. § 485e (1982).

427

43 U.S.C. § 485h(d)(2) (1982).

428

Sax, Selling Reclamation Water Rights: A Case Study in Federal Subsidy Policy, 64 MICH. L. REV. 13, 37 (1965).

429

Id.; see also Shoshone Irrigation Dist. v. Lincoln Land Co., 51 F.2d 128, 129 (D. Wyo. 1930) (approving district’s assessment of defendant’s irrigable lands, which received no water from the project because the lands were ‘shown by the general trend of the evidence to be benefitted by the [federal] irrigation project, so that their value [became] enhanced thereby’).

430

Sax, supra note 428, at 37.

431

Gardner, Water Pricing and Rent Seeking in California Agriculture, in WATER RIGHTS, supra note 216, at 107.

432

See supra text accompanying notes 421-24.

433

Fox v. Ickes, 137 F.2d 30, 33 (D.D.C. 1943), cert. denied, 320 U.S. 792 (1943).

434

Hall v. Superior Court, 198 Cal. 373, 383, 245 P. 814, 818 (1926).

435

United States v. Imperial Irrigation Dist., 559 F.2d 509, 529 (9th Cir. 1977), modified on other grounds, 595 F.2d 524 (9th Cir. 1977).

436

Madera Irrigation Dist. v. All Persons, 47 Cal. 2d 681, 693, 306 P.2d 886, 893 (1957), rev’d on other grounds, 357 U.S. 275 (1958) (emphasis added).

437

CAL. WATER CODE § 385 (West Supp. 1986).

438

ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN § 45-172 (West Supp. 1986).

439

F. DAMANPOUR & C. HOFMANN, LEGAL, FINANCIAL, AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF A WATER SUPPLY BANK IN IDAHO: A PRELIMINARY REPORT (1978) (Progress Report submitted to the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, University of Idaho).

440

However:

The right to continue assessment after the transfer offers a seemingly simple solution to meeting the repayment obligation to the federal government. In the case of sale and transfer of water rights, new owners continue to be liable for assessments whether or not they utilize the delivery system of the ditch company.

Gisser & Johnson, Institutional Restrictions on the Transfer of Water Rights and the Survival of an Agency, in WATER RIGHTS, supra note 216, at 155; see also supra note 117 (describing the City of El Paso’s purchase of taxable land within an irrigation district as part of its acquisition of the associated project right).


441

Generally, state law allows voluntary conveyance of an interest in water supply on the conditions that (1) the irrigator files the appropriate application with the state regulatory agency for approval of the change in use or place of use and (2) no injury is done to holders of other water rights as a result of the conveyance. See supra note 279; supra text accompanying notes 289-91.

442

‘Appurtenant’ means belonging to, accessory, or incident to.

[I]t is the rule of law that, where the water right is acquired under the Arid Region Doctrine of appropriation; and where, in fact, the water right is an appurtenance to the land, a deed conveying the land, without any reference to the water right, will pass to the grantee all of such water rights then owned by the grantor. In order for the water right, or any portion thereof, not to pass with the deed transferring the land, there must be some limitation or reservation specifically expressed in the deed . . ..

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