Arizona judge, special master set to preside over 2 crucial water cases

Apr 4, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: 10:30 am

(Photo by Will Powers/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Will Powers/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(Photo by Will Powers/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney has chosen a water master for general stream adjudications involving the state’s two key water cases.

Blaney, who was recently appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to oversee the cases involving Gila River and the Little Colorado River systems, named Sherri Zendri as the special master, according to a press release.

Zendri assumed her role meant to provide additional support for general stream adjudications on March 20.

A general stream adjudications is a judicial proceeding that is used to determine the priority and extent of all water rights, the release said.

Blaney was appointed to the court in 2018 and previously served in the Family and Civil departments at the Superior Court. Before he joined the court, he practiced more than 30 years as a military lawyer.

Zendri has administrative counsel experience for the Arizona State Lottery and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Following the general stream adjudications, the Superior Court will issue decrees that will determine the water rights in the Little Colorado River and Gila River systems.

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Arizona judge, special master set to preside over 2 crucial water cases