Rodney B. “Rod” Lewis, one of the nation’s great champions of tribal water rights, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 77. Mr. Lewis leaves behind an unparalleled legacy as a legal advocate for the interests of fellow members of the Gila River Indian Community. He was a trailblazer in the realms of tribal water and energy law, gaming compacts and as a strong voice advancing the interests of Native American tribes on a host of public policy issues. … In water law in particular, Rod Lewis’s career is legendary.
This issue of Western Water discusses the challenges facing the Colorado River Basin resulting from persistent drought, climate change and an overallocated river, and how water managers and others are trying to face the future.
“The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday weighed in to support the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in its lawsuit against two water districts, backing the tribe’s claims that the local agencies are infringing upon its rights by over-pumping groundwater from the Coachella Valley’s aquifer.”
“Some southern Oregon ranchers will have to reduce or completely shut down irrigation in the parched Upper Klamath Basin this summer as a result of a historic assertion of water rights by other users in the region.
On Monday, several groups, including the Klamath Tribes and irrigators in the federal Klamath Project, made formal calls for water, asking Oregon to enforce rights they won earlier this year.”