United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation District, No. 25563.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtDUNIWAY, ELY and CHOY, Circuit
Citation454 F.2d 219
Docket NumberNo. 25563.
Decision Date19 January 1972
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Petitioner-Appellee, v. GILA VALLEY IRRIGATION DISTRICT et al., Respondents-Appellants.

454 F.2d 219 (1972)

UNITED STATES of America, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
GILA VALLEY IRRIGATION DISTRICT et al., Respondents-Appellants.

No. 25563.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

January 19, 1972.


Robert O. Lesher (argued), of Lesher & Scruggs, Tucson, Ariz., Anderson & Welker, Safford, Ariz., for respondents-appellants.

Robert S. Lynch, Asst. U. S. Atty., (argued), R. S. Alleman, Asst. U. S. Atty., Richard K. Burke, U. S. Atty., Phoenix, Ariz., Robert Hurley (argued), of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Phoenix, Ariz., Gust, Rosenfeld & Divelbess, Phoenix, Ariz., Edmund B. Clerk, Martin Green, Robert S. Lynch, Dept. of Justice, Shiro Kashiwa, Asst. Atty. Gen., Lands

454 F.2d 220
& Nat. Resources Division, Washington, D. C., for petitioner-appellee

Before DUNIWAY, ELY and CHOY, Circuit Judges.

CHOY, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal from a decree of the District Court declaring improper certain water-diversion practices of the Water Commissioner appointed by that court to administer its prior decree of June 29, 1935. We affirm.

The Gila River originates in Western New Mexico and flows in a general westerly direction across Arizona to its confluence with the Colorado River. The river's volume varies greatly during the year, and the region through which it flows is subject to cloudbursts and heavy floods. The rainy season is short, and the land through which the river flows is "semi-arid or desert . . . requiring irrigation for successful agricultural and horticultural use." Gila Valley Irrigation District v. United States, 118 F.2d 507, 508 (9th Cir., 1941).

In 1924, Congress authorized the construction of the Coolidge Dam across the river, creating the San Carlos Reservoir "for the purpose, first, of providing water for the irrigation of lands allotted to Pima Indians on the Gila River Reservation, Arizona, now without an adequate supply of water, and, second, for the irrigation of such other lands in public or private ownership, as in the opinion of the . . . Secretary of the Interior, can be served . . . without diminishing the supply necessary for said Indian lands . . ." Act of June 7, 1924, c. 288, 43 Stat. 475.

In 1925, the United States, on its own behalf and on the behalf of the Pima and Apache Indians (Lower Valleys Users), sued certain irrigation districts, canal companies, and individuals (Upper Valleys Users) whose lands, irrigated by the river's waters, lie above the Coolidge Dam, the San Carlos Reservoir, and the Indian lands, to determine their respective water rights. An elaborate consent decree was entered on June 29, 1935, establishing priorities to the river's water and providing for a water commissioner to administer and continuing district court jurisdiction to interpret the decree. The decree recognized that the rights of the Pimas below the reservoir were "immemorial," that is, prior to all others and that the rights of the Apaches above the reservoir were prior to all others, except the Pimas. The 1935 decree sets forth the full measure, extent, and limits of the rights of all the signatory parties and their successors in interest to divert and utilize the waters of the Gila River.

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7 practice notes
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe v. U.S., No. CV 99-255 TUC DCB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • July 9, 2003
    ...Users) to determine the water rights of the water users along the Upper Gila River. United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation District, 454 F.2d 219, 220 (9th Cir.1972). There is a direct relationship between water use above Coolidge Dam (above ground and pumping diversions) and the amount of......
  • In re General Rights of Gila River System, No. WC-02-0003-IR.
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • February 9, 2006
    ...in a general westerly direction across Arizona to its confluence with the Colorado River." United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219, 220 (9th Cir.1972). "The land through which the stream flows is semi-arid or desert land requiring irrigation for successful agricultural o......
  • U.S. v. Gila Valley Irr. Dist., No. 93-15076
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 13, 1994
    ...Nos. 90-16720 & 90-16721, filed April 3, 1992, and amended June 5, 1992 (unpublished); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219 (9th Cir.1972); Gila Valley Irrigation Dist. v. United States, 118 F.2d 507 (9th The current litigation arises out of the GRIC's intervention in......
  • US v. Gila Valley Irr. Dist., Globe Equity No. 59.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • March 23, 1996
    ...Cir.1994); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 961 F.2d 1432 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219 920 F. Supp. 1448 (9th Cir.1972); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 804 F.Supp. 1 (D.Ariz.1992). The Court's findings of fact rela......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe v. U.S., No. CV 99-255 TUC DCB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • July 9, 2003
    ...Users) to determine the water rights of the water users along the Upper Gila River. United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation District, 454 F.2d 219, 220 (9th Cir.1972). There is a direct relationship between water use above Coolidge Dam (above ground and pumping diversions) and the amount of......
  • In re General Rights of Gila River System, No. WC-02-0003-IR.
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • February 9, 2006
    ...in a general westerly direction across Arizona to its confluence with the Colorado River." United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219, 220 (9th Cir.1972). "The land through which the stream flows is semi-arid or desert land requiring irrigation for successful agricultural o......
  • U.S. v. Gila Valley Irr. Dist., No. 93-15076
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • July 13, 1994
    ...Nos. 90-16720 & 90-16721, filed April 3, 1992, and amended June 5, 1992 (unpublished); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219 (9th Cir.1972); Gila Valley Irrigation Dist. v. United States, 118 F.2d 507 (9th The current litigation arises out of the GRIC's intervention in......
  • US v. Gila Valley Irr. Dist., Globe Equity No. 59.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • March 23, 1996
    ...Cir.1994); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 961 F.2d 1432 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 454 F.2d 219 920 F. Supp. 1448 (9th Cir.1972); United States v. Gila Valley Irrigation Dist., 804 F.Supp. 1 (D.Ariz.1992). The Court's findings of fact rela......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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