Parties Near Settlement Over Tribal Rights To Colorado River Water

"FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A Native American tribe with one of the largest outstanding claims to water in the Colorado River basin is closing in on a settlement with more than a dozen parties, putting it on a path to piping water to tens of thousands of tribal members in Arizona who still live without it.

Negotiating terms outlined late Wednesday include water rights not only for the Navajo Nation but the neighboring Hopi and San Juan Southern Paiute tribes in the northeastern corner of the state. The water would come from a mix of sources: the Colorado River that serves seven western states, the Little Colorado River, and aquifers and washes on tribal lands.

The agreement is decades in the making and would allow the tribes to avoid further litigation and court proceedings, which have been costly. Navajo officials said they expect to finalize the terms in the coming days."

Felicia Fonseca and Suman Naishadham report for the Associated Press February 28, 2024.

Source: AP, 03/01/2024