Historic Pact Gives Colorado River Tribes Control Over Use of Their Water

"The deal will help the tribe raise money for infrastructure and services for its members while the water could ease the drought in the Southwest."

"PARKER, Ariz. — Against a backdrop of the Colorado River, members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes watched Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Amelia Flores, the tribe’s chairwoman, sign a historic agreement on April 26 that asserts the tribe’s right to lease portions of their allocation of the river’s water to users away from the tribal land.

The agreement between the tribe, the Interior Department and Arizona gives the tribe the ability to lease, exchange or store a portion of its Colorado River water entitlement. As one leader expressed, the tribe is stepping away from the “outdated framework” of federal restrictions that constrained their means to supply water to areas off the tribal land.

The financial gain for the tribe will allow them to invest in services that help tribal members, to build needed infrastructure and update systems for agricultural purposes."

Noel Lyn Smith reports for Inside Climate News May 2, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 05/06/2024