In 2008, the federal government declared portions of the Santa Cruz River navigable waters, which meant that parts of the river became subject to the Clean Water Act.
The news didn't sit well with the National Association of Home Builders and its Arizona association members.
They filed a suit in 2009, but it was dismissed for a lack of standing.
NAHB filed another lawsuit. But, this time, the association included statements from three members who own land within the Santa Cruz River watershed, and claim the designation has caused them harm.
A district judge recently dismissed that suit as well. Read the ruling here.
“In other words, they have not demonstrated in these affidavits that...traditional navigable water has made any difference for any of these individuals," said Judith Dworkin, an attorney in the Phoenix area, and water law instructor for Arizona State University."...in the future, if they try to develop their properties it might (impact them)...but 'it might' is not good enough."
Dworkin said the ruling basically tells the Santa Cruz area property owners to go through the federal processes and regulations for development. And, if they are legally harmed due to the river’s designation, then go back to court.