Environment | Law

Havasupai Tribe files lawsuit to protect water rights in Arizona






Havasu Falls on the Havasupai Reservation in Arizona. Photo from Facebook

The Havasupai Tribe is asserting a right to groundwater within its homeland in Arizona.

The tribe filed a lawsuit in federal court last week to protect the falls, creeks, springs and other sources of water on the reservation. The complaint names 19 defendants, including several entities and corporations that have engaged in uranium mining and other activities that draw water away from those sources.

"The defendants’ withdrawal of water from the aquifer constitutes a trespassory and unlawful interference with the tribe’s water rights, that threatens irreparable harm to the tribe’s livelihood and its traditional and cultural interests, and the tribe seeks declaratory relief as to the character and extent of its rights, and injunctive relief against any withdrawal of water that would reduce the flow of the Havasupai’s waters," the December 5 complaint reads.

The tribe's reservation is located at the southwest corner of Grand Canyon National Park. The lawsuit asserts the use of groundwater within portions of the park.

Read More on the Story:
Havasupai lawsuit a first for the tribe (The Arizona Daily Sun 12/14)
Havasupai lawsuit aims to stop groundwater pumping (The Arizona Daily Sun 12/5)