indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Sovereignty and E-Commerce:  Innovating and Reshaping the  Borders of Indian Country - Arizona State University Third Annual Tribal Government E-Commerce CLE Conference
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
American Prospect: Hopi, Navajo tribes battle for water rights

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...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
Mohegan Tribe announces plan for $80M casino convention center (3/21)
North Dakota Republican keeps pushing bill for non-Indian casinos (3/21)
Supreme Court nominee fares well in review of Indian law record (3/20)
Dakota Access won't reveal latest status of pipeline to the public (3/20)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sees another Dakota Access setback (3/20)
Hopi Tribe and Native activists lose cases over aging power plant (3/20)
Supreme Court considers petition in tribal land-into-trust dispute (3/20)
Oneida Nation prevails as Supreme Court declines immunity case (3/20)
Tim Giago: Indian Health Service fails to abide by treaty obligation (3/20)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe battles uranium mining (3/20)
Mary Annette Pember: It's sugar bush time across Ojibwe country (3/20)
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.