Washington Supreme Court Brings Yakima River Basin Adjudication "One Step Closer to Finality"

Published Apr 02, 2013

In this month’s Western Water Law & Policy Reporter, Tupper Mack Wells attorney Sarah Mack writes about the Washington Supreme Court’s latest decision in the long-running adjudication of surface water rights in the Yakima River Basin, Dep’t of Ecology v. Acquavella, et al.  The Court’s opinion, issued March 7th, addresses the Ahtanum Creek Subbasin, the final subbasin to be considered in the adjudication.

Key elements of the Court’s opinion involve the quantification of irrigable land on the Yakama Indian Reservation, the Yakama Indian Nation’s right to store water, and application of the “determined future development” exemption from relinquishment. Because the Court remanded for further proceedings, the Yakima River adjudication – originally begun in 1977 – may continue for several more years. For more information, contact Sarah Mack at mack@tmw-law.com or Matt Wells at wells@tmw-law.com.

  • To see the full article, click here.
  • To see the Supreme Court decision, click here.