Editorial: Tribal water rights settlement is a good compromise
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012
"Now, however, there is a comprehensive draft agreement that will clarify and quantify not only Flagstaff's water rights but those of about 30 other major water users in the region as well as the tribes.
The agreement, known as the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement, gives the Navajo Nation the right to use all available water in the Little Colorado and places few limits on the tribe's right to use water from the C-aquifer.
But more important for Flagstaff, it recognizes as legal all of the existing uses in the river basin and the aquifer, including the city's wells and reservoirs.
That includes the new wells out at Red Gap -- the city and the tribe have negotiated a side agreement giving Flagstaff the right to pump up to 8,000 acre-feet a year from the ranch.
Left unsettled is how the city will get the water to Flagstaff and how much that will cost. The rights of way over Hopi lands could be contentious, given the dispute over Snowbowl. And a 30-mile pipeline with pumping stations could cost up to $200 million, according to some estimates."
Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribal water settlement key to region's future
(The Arizona Daily Sun 5/13)
Arizona Navajo, Hopi water deal revision stirs controversy
(The Arizona Republic 5/13)
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