A massive 2010 settlement that awarded San Juan River water rights to the Navajo Nation is facing fresh legal challenges that raise issues concerning who has the authority to make water deals in New Mexico.
Leaders of the Blackfeet Nation and U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday put into effect a $471 million settlement of water rights claims that was decades in the making for the northwestern Montana American Indian tribe.
Despairing over the impending loss of hundreds of jobs and 85 percent of its governmental revenue, the Hopi Tribe recently sued the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) for not honoring its contract to purchase power from the Navajo Generating Station until it pays back the federal loan used to build the station and construct the 336 mile-long Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal.
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.”