“Navajo and Hopi tribal leaders are still working on various fronts to salvage pieces of the Navajo Hopi Little Colorado River Water Right Settlement Act of 2012, with no clear path in sight. The proposal touched off reservation-wide protests at both tribes last spring, when it was introduced as Senate Bill 2109 and sponsored by senators Jon Kyl and John McCain. In the end, the Navajo Tribal Council voted it down.
Based on that decision, the Navajo and Hopi interests in the Little Colorado River, for now, fall back into the realm of Arizona tribal water claims likely to be decided in court. According to information provided by the Arizona Department of Water Resources, water settlements have been reached in the past in Arizona for the Ak Chin Indian Community, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Fort McDowell Indian Community, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, the Zuni Tribe and the Gila River Indian Community, although the Gila settlement has met with friction in the Gila River Adjudication Court, which has the final say. Pending settlement negotiations involve claims by the White Mountain Apache, the Yavapai Apache, the Havasupai, Hualapai, Kaibab Paiute, one district at Tohono O’odham – and the Hopi and Navajo. Still more tribes have various water claims that aren’t yet in negotiation, including the Pascua Yaqui, San Carlos Apache, San Juan Southern Paiute and Tonto Apache.”
Read more: Indian Country