Edited by Chane Polo
As most people are aware, in June of 2015, the Obama administration issued a final rule entitled "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States,'" also known as the WOTUS rule. The Colorado Water Congress and the National Water Resources Association, along with many other water organizations and other public and private entities, had filed extensive comments on the draft rule. The final version of the rule did reflect some modifications made in response to those comments, but failed to address all concerns, including those related to the future treatment of ditches and canals, the automatic treatment of "all" tributaries as jurisdictional, the elimination of isolation determinations, and the use of the "aggregation" concept relative to similarly situated waterbodies in a basin. Upon issuance, the rule was immediately the subject of numerous court challenges in both federal district courts and courts of appeal.