Navajo Nation Water Rights attorney Stanley Pollack says Utah water settlement priority

Here at navajo council’s Resources & Development Committee work session with Navajo Department of Water Resources Water and the Navajo Department of justice Rights Unit.

(Excuse typos. I’m typing as fast as the presenters are talking)

focus on top priority which is settlement of draft settlement.
february 2013 Secretary of interior appointed individual to work on Navajo-Utah Water Rights Settlement.
settlement agreement will have changes for navajo to additional fexibility where navajo said build water projects.
federal legislation for navajo utah water settlement – it’s in prime position cuz of key power of utah congressional delegation. since 2010, congress has not approved federal funds for settlements. republicans saw settlements as earmarks that violated
rob bishop chair of house natural resources committee and he sent letter to secretary jewell that outlined procedures for water settlement to get hearing on house side. procedures ‘daunting’ but must do.
senate side – settlements in 2010 were joint effort of bakis, kyle, mc cain. bakin chair of finance. but now Utah republicans in finance. hatch probably in congress final term.
Navajo filed final reply on may 1 in lawsuit against secretary of interior regarding little colorado river. wuld like to talk abuot settlement of lawsuit but need go into exeucutive session.
third one is san juan river water settlement – non irrigator users continue to oppose and appealed to court of appeals couple of weeks ago and consists of over 33,000 pages. court will schedule briefing.
lastly, settlement implementation of navajo gallup water project and for it be to be constructed and increase customer base and we don’t have water supply for that pipeline when council reject Navajo Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement.
$23 million in federal funds to rehabilitate irrigation in northern reservation.
when talking LCR, talking about all water on Navajo Nation which is CR. Navajo is in three states.
Arizona – LCR, Colorado River Mainstem, Upper Colorado River.
LCT been litigating cuz Az Dept of Water Resources long time cuz ADWR had no money and while dept preparing hydrographic survey for hopi, which claimed senior water rights. we gave oral arguement in january 2014 and no decison. last week ADWR said complete survey by september 1 so when completed that kickstart litigation and court issue rulings and hearings. expect happen in Fall.
Colorado mainstem – i have powerpoint and Chairman Shepherd saw at seminar i gave last week.
there is no adjudication cuz navajo owns lands in upper colorado basin and navajo agreed to limit use and with NGS unusued water of 13,000 acre feet.
NM had settlement of san juan river claims of navajo. third component and that is that navajo vigilent about other water users.
in zuni river basin, located in southern portin of navajo rez and includes most of chapters of ramah and district 16. that litigation stayed to allow zuni and navajo to settle water in that basin. parties focused on ground water which is critcal in that basin.
rio san jose part of rio grande and includes tiny piece of tohajiilee and alamo. deals with rights of laguna and acoma and negotiations fallen apart in summer.
NM water rights settlement photo of Prez Shirley signing san juan basin settlement in 2010 with then Interior Secretary Salazar. opposition based on navajo allocated too much water and NDOJ extermely confident that opposition dismissed.
if navajo wanted to use san juan river water for other uses, that’s up to navajo. most of water being used for navajo irrigation indian project.
in utah, no ongoing water litigation. utah position is settlement. 2008 draft settlement. 81,000 acres feet is lot of water that navajo actually could use.
LCR Basin, in litigation, No limits on rights to use available water.
Mainstem Colo River, no established rights.
Az Upper Colo River Basin, 50,000 afy available for Az users
San Juan River Basin, NM settlement 633,531 afy diversion, 327,664 afy depletion
Utah, Upper Colo River Basin, proposed settlement, 81,500 afy of depletion

I support Navajo Utah water settlement.

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