indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
American Prospect: Hopi, Navajo tribes battle for water rights
Friday, November 23, 2012
Filed Under: Environment | Law
More on: arizona, doi, hopi, navajo, water
 
"At the Department of the Interior in Washington last week, where a tarpaulin banner on the portico façade encouraged visitors to “Celebrate Native American Heritage Month,” Secretary Ken Salazar commemorated our country’s original occupants in classic fashion: he hosted a land dispute between Native Americans and colonizers.

At issue were Navajo and Hopi water claims to the Little Colorado River, an aquamarine tributary meandering through 300 miles of clay bluffs just east of the Grand Canyon. For 40 years, the Navajo and Hopi tribes have leased land and water to Peabody Western Coal Company, which mines on the Navajo Reservation, and the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), which burns the coal to power cities in Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California. While the tribes have senior claims on the river, nearly half of the West Virginia-sized reservation lacks running water. People are forced to haul their water in 55-gallon drums from coin-operated filling stations while Navajo resources drive the water pressure in millions of homes hundreds of miles away from the reservation.

“Many of our families live in third-world conditions, and they’re tired of that,” said Eric Descheenie, the chief of staff of the Navajo legislative branch.

For decades, Navajo attorneys have tried to leverage their water claims to get federal money for water delivery. At the beginning of this year, the coal industry appeared ready to strike a deal. The Navajo-Hopi Water Rights Settlement Agreement proposed giving the tribes all of the unappropriated water in the stream, and unlimited access to two aquifers of groundwater. The agreement also restricted new users from pumping the aquifers in range of the tribes, and prohibited any new users on the Little Colorado. The most significant aspect of the agreement, though, was $350 million of federal money to develop a water delivery system for thousands of homes on the reservation. In the language of water-claims attorneys, that money meant converting “paper water rights” into “wet water rights.” In return, Peabody and NGS obtained certainty that they could pump the river for “time immemorial.”"

Get the Story:
Under Water Pressure (The American Prospect 11/22)

Related Stories:
Radio: Tribal water rights at issue in Senate election in Arizona (10/19)
Obama administration trying to revive Hopi-Navajo water deal (10/18)
LeRoy Shingoitewa: Hopi Tribe not at fault for failed water deal (08/27)
Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation back to drawing table on water (8/22)
John McCain/Jon Kyl: An endless fight over tribal water rights (8/13)
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)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: DOJ backs tribes in ICWA case in South Dakota (8/21)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe's police force is in 'shambles' (8/21)
Ryan Wilson: Native language immersion programs need support (8/21)
Walt Lamar: Remove Gary Edwards from law enforcement group (8/21)
Secretary Jewell issues order and guidance on trust relationship (8/21)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes see $7.4M for buyback (8/21)
North Dakota tribe accused of concealing data on pipeline spill (8/21)
Navy rejects transfer of surplus property to Narragansett Tribe (8/21)
Kake Tribe returns to site of 1857 deadly attack in Washington (8/21)
KCUR: Modern and historic Indian art on display in Kansas City (8/21)
Mike Wise: Longtime NFL referee avoided Washington's games (8/21)
Enterprise Rancheria sues state over delayed Class III compact (8/21)
Santee Sioux Tribe working to bring more attractions to casino (8/21)
Mashantucket Tribe sees credit hit as casino competition grows (8/21)
Chumash Tribe to respond to concerns about casino expansion (8/21)
Travel: Smoking allowed at tribal casinos in northern California (8/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe gears up for uranium battle (8/20)
Eyapaha Today: J. Waylon Miller leads Friends of Cesar Romero (8/20)
Sandra Fox: Fixing the education system for our Indian children (8/20)
Albert Bender: US-backed genocide in Guatemalan spurs exodus (8/20)
Mark Chavaree: Penobscot Nation fights to save namesake river (8/20)
Mark Rogers: One more day with post-traumatic stress disorder (8/20)
Still no word on Cobell payments as end of August approaches (8/20)
Native boy found safe after going missing for nearly 24 hours (8/20)
9th Circuit allows Lummi Nation to pursue fishing rights claims (8/20)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe gains support for land claim agreement (8/20)
Delaware Tribe to discuss plans for land with officials in Kansas (8/20)
Wind River Reservation students enjoy back-to-school haircuts (8/20)
Review: Native man serves as anti-hero in 'Winter In The Blood' (8/20)
Bill introduced to extend recognition to Clatsop-Nehalem Tribe (8/20)
Governor pressed on Menominee Nation off-reservation casino (8/20)
Group seeks referendum on Tohono O'odham Nation casino deal (8/20)
Lawmakers approve Class III gaming compact with Karuk Tribe (8/20)
Enterprise Rancheria awaits action on Class III gaming compact (8/20)
Wampanoag casino opponents hope to catch Obama's attention (8/20)
Opinion: Tribal gaming creates short term and long term benefits (8/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala man's business dealings under scrutiny (8/19)
Mark Trahant: Behind the scenes of Obamacare in Indian Country (8/19)
Peter d'Errico: Book told from perspective of the colonial invaders (8/19)
Brian Pierson: Recent federal court decisions affecting Indian law (8/19)
Opinion: Elder of Wukchumni Tribe working to keep language alive (8/19)
Large crowd turns out to denounce supremacist group's activities (8/19)
Oglala Sioux Tribe suspends officer who repeatedly used stun gun (8/19)
Alaska Native man being treated after being shot by police officer (8/19)
Another guilty plea comes in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (8/19)
Leader of Muscogee Nation goes on trial in theft case next month (8/19)
Court in California won't let Choctaw girl be placed with relatives (8/19)
Tribes hail Oregon decision to deny permit for coal export project (8/19)
Al Jazeera: State struggles with Native language voting material (8/19)
NPR: Osage Nation disputes wind development on mineral estate (8/19)
Chickasaw Nation sell new blend of coffee made from chocolate (8/19)
Activists won't sue over school's Warriors mascot in Minnesota (8/19)
Broadcasters won't use racist mascot of Washington NFL team (8/19)
NIGA to hold mid-year conference at Chickasaw Nation casino (8/19)
Court won't allow former casino workers to sue Morongo Band (8/19)
Official from wine group likens a tribal casino to 'foreign nation' (8/19)
MPR: City pushes for casino amid battle with Fond du Lac Band (8/19)
Editorial: Karuk Tribe casino poses competition to Coquille Tribe (8/19)
more headlines...


Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.