WHAT IS THE GENERAL STREAM ADJUDICATION?
The general stream adjudication is a judicial proceeding to determine or establish the extent and priority of water rights in the Gila River system. Claimants and water users are joined in these proceedings that will result in the Superior Court issuing a comprehensive final decree of water rights.
HOW DID THIS ADJUDICATION START?
The Gila River adjudication was initiated in the 1970s under the then-existing general adjudication procedures set forth in Arizona Revised Statutes sections 45-231 to 45-245. On April 26, 1974, the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association (SRP) filed a petition with the Arizona Land Department to determine the water rights in the Salt River above Granite Reef Dam (but excluding the Verde River). On February 24, 1976, SRP filed a similar petition for the Verde River and its tributaries. In April 1979, the Legislature amended the general adjudication procedures. Under their amendments, the Gila River Adjudication was transferred from the State Land Department to the Maricopa County Superior Court. Pursuant to the amended statutes, adjudication summonses were served upon all persons listed in the property tax assessments in each watershed and on all persons in the watershed who had, at any time, any kind of water rights filing on record with ADWR to file the appropriate Statement of Claimant. Additionally, ADWR conducts an annual search of its records to determine whether new water uses have been initiated within the adjudication areas, and sends new use summons by certified mail to those potential claimants.
WHO WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE GENERAL STREAM ADJUDICATION?
Any person or entity who uses water or has made a claim to use water, on property within the Gila River system, potentially may be affected. The Legislature has charged the Arizona Superior Court with quantifying and prioritizing validity of existing water rights claimed. The final court decree will establish the existence and ownership of claimed water rights, as well as important characteristics of the water rights including location of water uses, quantity of water used, and date of priority of the water rights.
PLEASE SEE THE BELOW LINK FOR UPDATED ADJUDICATION UPDATES FROM MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT