How 18 years, 2 #Utah senators and nearly $220 million help the Navajo: Romney ushers in historic #water rights agreement — The Deseret News #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Survey work begins in 2018 for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project on the Navajo Nation. Photo credit: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation via The High Country News

Click the link to read the article on The Deseret News website (Amy Joi O’Donoghue). Here’s an excerpt:

A historic agreement sets aside what was destined to be a protracted legal battle between the Navajo Nation and the state of Utah over rights to water in the Colorado River. With that agreement comes nearly $220 million in funding for the Navajo to provide drinking water to 40% of the tribe in Utah that lacks access to clean, running water. The settlement will be at the center of a ceremonial signing Friday in southern Utah’s Monument Valley featuring Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, the president of the Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who negotiated the funding as part of the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act…

What the act does: This is the result of decades of negotiation, recognizing and protecting reserved water rights of the Navajo Nation and the investment of water delivery infrastructure. Specifically it:

  • Recognizes a reserved water right of 81,500 acre-feet of water for current and future use by the state of Utah.
  • Facilitates payment by the federal government to the Navajo Nation of over $210 million.
  • The state of Utah will contribute $8 million toward drinking water infrastructure on the Navajo Nation.
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