"PARKER — On the Arizona-California border, where the Colorado River pushes against Headgate Rock Dam, churning water pours into a wide canal and runs across the desert, flowing toward the farmlands of the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
This tribal nation is the largest single user of Colorado River water in Arizona, with rights to divert about 662,000 acre-feet per year, more than double the amount of water diverted for the state of Nevada.
But unlike other tribes elsewhere in Arizona, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, or CRIT, are legally barred from leasing water to growing cities and suburbs. The reasons go back to a 1964 decree by the U.S. Supreme Court that established the tribal water rights, and to a law enacted in the 1790s that limits tribes’ authority to make such deals without congressional approval."
Ian James reports for the Arizona Republic December 23, 2020.