Environment | Opinion

Editorial: Questions about Navajo Nation water rights deal

"When it comes to water rights and supplies in northern Arizona, it is a tangled web being woven indeed.

At the center of the web is the Navajo Nation, which has pressed its claims against both Arizona and New Mexico to water from the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers as well as two major aquifers beneath the reservation. About 40 percent of its 170,000 residents don't have drinking water piped into their homes and must haul it from another source.

But the city of Flagstaff is not far from the main action, having made a claim to water rights on a ranch 30 miles east of the city that would tap the same aquifer to which the Navajos have also laid claim. The city's main worry is that at current growth rates, even with 20 percent more conservation, it will run out of drinking water for future growth sometime in the next 30 years.

The Navajos have signed on to a settlement agreement with the federal government and the states that allot the Rez a reduced 31,000 acre-feet of water a year from the Colorado River in return for $800 million from the feds to help pay for pipelines."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Is the Red Gap water deal sustainable? (The Arizona Daily Sun 6/5)

Earlier Story:
Water deal set for Red Gap Ranch (The Arizona Daily Sun 5/29)

Related Stories:
Sen. Kyl seeks lower cost for tribal water rights settlement (5/17)

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