Tag Archives: Water Rights

6/13/2012 Navajo Hopi Observer: 2 More Hopi Villages, Bacavi and Shungopavi join Hotevilla in opposing water rights settlement

6/13/2012 Navajo Hopi Observer: 2 More Hopi Villages Bacavi & Shungopavi Join Hotevilla in Opposing…“>

Notice Correction by Navajo Budget & Finance Committee: 6/14/2012 meeting not until 6/19/2012 on Legis. No 0230-12 , Water Rights

6/14/2012 Budget &Finance Comm Mtg Notice Correction“>

6/13/2012 Rita Sebastian Re: Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement FOR THE OFFICIAL RECORD

6/13/2012 Rita Sebastian Re: Legislation No. 0230-12 for the OFFICIAL RECORD“>6/13/2012 Rita Sebastian Re: Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Agreement: Harvard Native American Economic Development Project and Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy would be happy to support studies regarding Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), and Economic Impact Analysis. Let science and careful policy analysis speak before you make any decisions to sell away water rights. Please let me know if we can be of any assistance.

6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee meeting: Navajo Hopi Little CO River Water Rights Settlement

6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee Special Mtg Agenda“>6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee meeting to discuss new Business: Legislation No. 0230-12: An Action Relating to the Budget and Finance, Resources and Development and the Nabikiyati Committees; Approving the Proposed Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Settlement Agreement Sponsor: Johnny Naize, Speaker

5/21/2012 Navajo Human Rights Commission Resolution opposing Navajo Hopi Little CO River Water Rights Act of 2012

5/21/2012 Navajo Human Rights Commission Resolution“>

5/22/2012 Gallup Independent: Twist of fate – Dog bite leads to unfolding story behind water-hauling picture By Kathy Helms

5 22 2012 Twist of Fate – Dog Bite Leads to Unfolding Story Behind Water-hauling Picture“>

5/8/2012 Carlos W. Begay, Sr. & Marsha Monestersky letter to Mr. James Anaya: US government theft of Black Mesa, HPL

4/3/2012 Blog posting by Wenona Benally Baldenegro: Senators Seek to Extinguish Navajo & Hopi Water Rights

Senators Seek to Extinguish Navajo & Hopi Water Rights by Wenona Benally Baldenegro, April 3, 2012 at 9:53pm. S.2109 and the “Settlement Agreement” require Navajo and Hopi to give Peabody Coal Mining Company and the Salt River Project and other owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) tens of thousands of acre-feet of Navajo and Hopi water annually – without any compensation – and to force the extension of Peabody and NGS leases without Navajo and Hopi community input, or regard for past and continuing harmful impacts to public health, water supplies and water quality – as necessary pre-conditions to Navajo and Hopi receiving Congressional appropriations for minimal domestic water development. This is coercive and wrong

11/5/2011 Zarbin: Tribes have role in Ariz.'s water future Indian – Tribes have unfair advantage in Ariz.'s water future

11/5/2011 The Arizona Republic: Zarbin: Tribes have role in Ariz.’s water future Indian – Tribes have unfair advantage in Ariz.’s water future: Indian tribes are expected to play significant roles in central Arizona’s water future, but they get little recognition of this in the media. For instance, in the past two months, The Arizona Republic has printed columns about two new institutional reports about central Arizona’s water future, but neither article mentioned Indian tribes, much less explained the part they play in the coming drama. In “Watering the Sun Corridor: Managing Choices in Arizona’s Megapolitan Area,” issued by the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University, several hundred words are spent on the Indians, including the possibility that tribes will use 500,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water imported through the Central Arizona Project for agriculture instead of leasing it to cities for people to use.

“This policy choice,” wrote chief Sun Corridor author Grady Gammage Jr., “might be made by central Arizona’s tribal communities. At an average use of 150 GPCD (gallons per capita daily), that’s 2.9 million fewer people to be accommodated.”

If, as Gammage stated in The Republic Aug. 21 (Viewpoints), “the Sun Corridor … watering system can likely support about 9.5 million people at current rates of consumption — but to do that will require virtually eliminating commercial agriculture,” and Indian tribes make a “policy choice” to continue commercial agriculture, what do those 2.9 million people do for water?

Indeed, how did central Arizona Indian reservations come to be in the position of one day being able to decide whether they prefer to farm or to continue to lease water to cities so that 2.9 million urbanites in the Sun Corridor will have water?

Today’s Sun Corridor residents, as well as those in the generations to come, deserve to have a clear understanding of how and why a considerable portion of their water future came to be put into the hands of Indians and what, if anything, could or should be done about it.

The story of how this came about is much too complicated and lengthy to be told in this brief commentary, but an inkling of what is involved may begin to emerge by understanding that less than 5 percent of the state’s 2010 population of 6,392,017 living on Indian reservations control a little more than 51 percent of Arizona’s yearly Colorado River water-surface supply of 2,800,000 acre-feet.

(Gammage pointed out that an acre-foot of water, 325,851 gallons, is “enough to support about five people per year, not including agriculture, mining and other industry.”)

The 51 percent of the state’s Colorado River water controlled by Indian tribes includes almost 46 percent, 650,724 acre-feet, of the water brought from the Colorado River to the Sun Corridor counties of Maricopa, Pinal and Pima by the Central Arizona Project.

Just two of these tribal groups, with one-third of 1 percent of the state’s 2010 population, have been given almost 1 million acre-feet of Arizona’s yearly Colorado River water entitlement. The tribal groups are the Gila River Indian Community, whose reservation abuts metropolitan Phoenix on the south, and the Colorado River Indian Tribes, along the Colorado River.

With about 19,000 residents, the two reservations have 974,202 acre-feet of Colorado River water. The Gila River Reservation is entitled to 311,800 acre-feet and the Colorado River Reservation 662,402 acre-feet.

This seems excessive to this observer, but, then, what does he understand of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides for “the equal protection of the laws.” As George Orwell wrote in “Animal Farm,” “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

The second institutional study, “Arizona at the Crossroads: Water Scarcity or Water Sustainability,” provided by the Grand Canyon Institute and reported in The Republic Oct. 3, doesn’t even mention Indian involvement.

What are Arizonans of the future, or today for that matter, to think about the unfair distribution of Arizona’s Colorado River water and the fact that Indian tribes can so drastically impact the off-reservation water picture?

But, then, maybe we aren’t expected to think or to be concerned and are simply to ignore that non-Indians have not been treated alike.

Earl Zarbin, a retired reporter and editor for The Republic, is the author of six history books, four of them about Arizona water.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/11/04/20111104zarbin05-tribes-role-arizs-water-future.html#ixzz1dvKhCn1W

10/13/2011 Gallup Independent: President Shelly pushes for water settlements

10/13/2011 President Shelly pushes for water settlements By Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau, Gallup Independent: WINDOW ROCK – Navajo President Ben Shelly was in Washington Wednesday to advocate for the Navajo Generating Station, Arizona and Utah water rights settlements, and the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. Congress has funded $24 million for pre-construction and construction activities for the Navajo-Gallup pipeline. An additional $60 million will be made available for the next three years from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, according to the Navajo Nation Washington Office.

In a meeting with Assistant Secretary of the Interior Larry Echo Hawk, Shelly said, “We are working to keep the Navajo Generating Station open. The loss of the power plant will impact both Navajo and Hopi, other Arizona tribes, and the state.”

In contrast, when Deputy Assistant Secretary David Hayes visited Navajo in September, Resources and Development Committee member Leonard Tsosie told him that NGS and Peabody were “bad deals made by the federal government on behalf of the Navajo people.”

Resources Chair Katherine Benally said continued support of NGS, given its history with Navajo, did not look very favorable. “They took our water, they took our land and did not bother to come back and see if we were properly compensated,” she said.

During his meeting with Echo Hawk, Shelly said Navajo is in the final stages of a water rights settlement with Utah and needs for the administration “to lay the foundation for a complete settlement of our water claims on the Colorado River and to ensure water for Window Rock.”

The Navajo Nation also has been a co-participant in Tribal Unity Impact Week with nine other tribes and the National Congress of American Indians.

During a leadership meeting Tuesday, Shelly told tribal leaders, “Be united as one. I’m talking about uniting right now. We’re not on the same page. We need to get serious. We are going to build a United Nation of Indians.”

He referred to proposed twin office towers planned for Window Rock with a price tag of around $45 million. “If you want to work with us, that’s where we’re going to be,” he said.

He addressed sovereignty and self-sufficiency as part of his vision of economic prosperity, including needed changes to federal laws and policies which will reduce bureaucratic red tape to allow tribes to develop their resources, take control of land, and expand business opportunities.

“We can’t sit here every day and say ‘trust responsibility,’” he said.

Meeting with the Nation’s congressional leaders on proposed funding reductions for tribal programs, Shelly said, “Reducing funding for tribes would cruelly punish a vulnerable segment of the U.S. population.”

The president spoke with congressmen on funding concerns for Navajo Housing Authority, transportation, Navajo Abandoned Mines Lands, the proposed Arizona water rights settlement, Head Start, the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, and uranium cleanup on Navajo land.

Later, Shelly and a delegation from Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency met with U.S. EPA.