San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority et al v. United States Department of Interior et al
ORDER to SHOW CAUSE re Likelihood That Issues Raised in the Pending Cross Motions Will be of Practical Importance During This Water Year, signed by District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 6/24/2014. (The Parties are ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE in writin g on or before July 11, 2014 why it is of practical importance for this Court to rule on the pending motions in this case before the end of the water year (September 30, 2014). The parties are directed to file a brief joint response to this order to show cause.)(Gaumnitz, R)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN LUIS & DELTA-MENDOTA WATER
AUTHORITY, et al.,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE
INTERIOR, et al.,
1:11-cv-00952 LJO GSA
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE
LIKELIHOOD THAT ISSUES RAISED
IN THE PENDING CROSS MOTIONS
WILL BE OF PRACTICAL
IMPORTANCE DURING THIS WATER
This case presents a conflict between two provisions of the 1992 Central Valley Improvement
13 Act (“CVPIA”), Pub. L. No. 102-575, 106 Stat. 4700 (1992). CVPIA § 3406(b)(2) requires the Secretary
14 of the Interior (the “Secretary”) to dedicate 800,000 acre feet (“AF”) of water to serve certain fish and
15 wildlife restoration purposes. CVPIA § 3411(b) requires the Secretary to comply with a 1985
Agreement Between the United States of America and the Department of Water Resources of the State
of California for Coordinated Operation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project
(otherwise referenced as “Coordinated Operations Agreement” or “COA”), which in turn requires the
20 Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) to export as much water as possible when the Delta is in
21 “excess water”1 conditions.
Plaintiffs, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (“Authority”) and one of the Authority’s
Member Districts, Westlands Water District (“Westlands”), filed this lawsuit on June 9, 2011, during a
period when the Delta was in “excess water conditions,” complaining that, contrary to the mandate in
CVPIA § 3411(b) to export as much water as possible, Defendants ordered reduced export pumping for
“Excess water conditions” are defined in the COA as “periods when it is agreed that releases from upstream reservoirs plus
28 unregulated flow exceed Sacramento Valley inbasin uses plus exports.” COA ¶ 3(c), Doc. 14-1 at p. 7 of 46.
a two-week period starting on June 8, 2011, pursuant to the Secretary’s authority under § 3406(b)(2).
Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunctive relief was denied, see Docs. 38 & 49, and the pumping
reduction expired of its own accord.
Currently pending before this Court are cross-motions for summary judgment in the abovecaptioned matter. See Docs. 99 & 100. Also pending before the undersigned are highly complex cross-
motions in a related case concerning “Excess Releases” from the Trinity River Division of the Central
Valley Project, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority. v. Jewell, Case No. 1:13-cv-01232-LJO-
GSA (“Trinity Division Excess Releases Case”), as well as a preliminary injunction motion in yet
another related case concerning water transfers from north-of-Delta to south-of-Delta water users,
Aqualliance v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1:14-cv-00945 LJO BAM (“Water Transfer Case”). From
the Court’s preliminary review of the Trinity Division Excess Release Case and the Water Transfer
Case, both raise issues that have a strong likelihood of having practical import in the near term, given
15 current dry/drought conditions. In contrast, the issues raised in the above-captioned matter appear upon
16 preliminary review more likely to be relevant in times of hydrologic plenty. In order for the Court to
17 best allocate its resources to deciding pending matters in a timely manner, the Parties are ORDERED
TO SHOW CAUSE in writing on or before July 11, 2014 why it is of practical importance for this Court
to rule on the pending motions in this case before the end of the water year (September 30, 2014). The
parties are directed to file a brief joint response to this order to show cause. If all parties agree that an
22 accelerated timeline is unnecessary, the joint report may simply so indicate. If any party believes a more
23 accelerated timeline is necessary, they shall present a suggested deadline and specific justification for it.
24 IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: June 24, 2014
/s/ Lawrence J. O’Neill
United States District Judge
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