Environment | Law | Politics

Bill introduced to settle Hopi and Navajo water rights dispute





S.2109, the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act, was introduced on Tuesday.

The bill settles the claims of the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation to the Little Colorado River in Arizona. It ends decades of litigation and secures water projects for the tribes.

“Introduction of this settlement act marks the next step in a two-decades-long process to resolve the water-rights claims of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe,” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) said in a press release. “It brings us one step closer to addressing the significant water needs of impoverished areas on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, while also providing certainty for non-Indian communities trying to plan for their water future.”

The bill authorizes the Hopi Groundwater Project for the Hopi Tribe and the Leupp-Dilkon Groundwater Project and the Ganado Groundwater Project for the Navajo Nation. The projects would cost more than $315 million, according to news reports.

The bill also re-allocates more water to the Navajo Nation, dependent on the tribe's renewal of leases and agreements for the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant.

Get the Story:
Deal could bring running water to Navajo, Hopi homes (The Arizona Republic 2/15)
Kyl introduces tribal water rights deal (AP 2/15)

Related Stories:
Sen. Kyl will introduce bill to settle Hopi, Navajo water rights (2/14)