City of Fresno v. United States


Issue(s) Presented

1. “Article 3(n) of the Friant Contracts prohibits the United States from delivering San Joaquin River water to the Exchange Contractors unless and until ‘required’ to do so by the terms of the Exchange Contract. Did the United States breach Articles 3(n) and 3(a) of the Friant Contracts in 2014 by delivering nearly all the available waters of the San Joaquin River to the Exchange Contractors, and almost none to the Friant Contractors?”

2. “The Growers who put Friant Division water to beneficial use on their land have a constitutionally protected property right in Friant water, consistent with the federal Reclamation Act (which requires that the right to Project water be appurtenant to the land irrigated), California law, and decisions of this Court. Did the trial court err as a matter of law in holding that Growers lack standing to bring their taking claims?”

3. “The Friant Contractor water districts are state agencies created to contract for and distribute Friant Division water, levy charges against Growers, and pay Reclamation the costs of facility construction, operation, maintenance, and replacement. They are authorized by state law to sue to protect ‘the use of water’ that is ‘a benefit to any land’ within the district. Did the trial court err as a matter of law in holding that the water districts could not bring these takings claims on behalf of their Growers?”