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The Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal Indian Law
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John McCain/Jon Kyl: An endless fight over tribal water rights
Monday, August 13, 2012
Filed Under: Opinion
More on: 112th, arizona, hopi, john mccain, jon kyl, navajo, senate, water
 
""Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting."

That aphorism, long popular among Western water folks, was the prevailing sentiment in the Southwest for the past century. From the riverbank to Congress to the courts, water users fought for water rights.

But victories were not always satisfying. The best one could hope for was a paper decree quantifying water rights. Especially for Indian tribes, what they really needed was not "paper" water but actual "wet" water.

As a result, parties began to negotiate settlements that not only resolved water claims but also included congressionally authorized funding for Indian water projects, upheld federal trust responsibilities and created certainty for non-Indian communities. Even when all the parties are working together, actually achieving a water settlement -- particularly coming up with the funding -- is usually very hard to do. We saw that recently with the failure of the settlement that included the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe."

Get the Story:
Sen. John McCain and Sen. John Kyl: An endless tribal water fight (The Arizona Republic 8/12)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Bill represents best hope for Navajo-Hopi water deal (7/27)
Bill for Hopi and Navajo water rights settlement is dead for now (7/24)
Navajo Nation Council to take up Arizona water rights settlement (7/5)
Hopi Tribe council holds second vote on water rights settlement (6/22)
Council from Hopi Tribe votes against water rights settlement (6/19)
Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation debate settlement to water rights (6/15)
Navajo Nation leader supports Arizona water rights settlement (6/12)
Harrison Tsosie: Water rights an exercise of Navajo sovereignty (6/4)
Chris Clark-Deschene: Water rights deal good for Navajo Nation (6/1)
Students: Water rights settlement won't benefit Navajo people (5/23)
Jihan Gearon: Cities in the desert are thirsty for Navajo water (5/11)
Nikke Alex: Water settlement not good for Navajo Nation (04/17)
Navajo Nation hires lobbyists for water rights settlement (4/13)
Editorial: Big price to pay for tribal water rights settlement (4/9)
Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation water settlement questioned (4/6)
Jon Kyl: Setting the record straight on tribal water rights bill (4/5)
Editorial: Don't hold your breath for tribal water rights deal (02/22)
Bill introduced to settle Hopi and Navajo water rights dispute (2/15)
Sen. Kyl will introduce bill to settle Hopi, Navajo water rights (2/14)


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