Navajo Council approves water rights settlement

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - With 51 delegates in favor and 24 opposed, the Navajo Nation Council on Thursday voted to approve the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement, which had been tabled during a previous Council session on Sept. 29.

The settlement resolves water rights claims between the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. Both tribes are in settlement for water from the Little Colorado River System and from the Lower Basin of the Colorado River.

The result of over a decade of negotiations between affected parties, the settlement gives the Navajo Nation 31,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Colorado River and would also provide access to unappropriated surface flows from the Little Colorado River and nearly unlimited access to the Navajo and Coconino Aquifers located beneath the Navajo Nation.

Opponents of the settlement argued that future generations were not being considered, and that approving the settlement would waive any future claims to water rights on the Colorado River basin.

Additional information will be posted when it becomes available.

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