Tribes in the #ColoradoRiver basin say they’re ‘in the dark’ as states discuss #water #conservation — KUNC #COriver #aridification

Agriculture is the main economic venture on CRIT’s reservation, where a range of crops like alfalfa, cotton and sorghum thrive in the rich soil along the banks of the Colorado River. (Source: CRIT)

Click the link to read the article on the KUNC website (Alex Hager). Here’s an excerpt:

A group of 14 tribes in the Colorado River basin is asking for a greater voice in ongoing negotiations about water conservation. In a letter to the Department of the Interior, those tribes write that they are not being adequately consulted as states ponder a plan to save an unprecedented amount of water amid this historic drought.

“We should not have to remind you — but we will again — that as our trustee, you must protect our rights, our assets, and people in addition to any action you take on behalf of the system,” the letter reads…

The tribes said a June pre-scoping notice about river negotiations was a good start — it mentioned a commitment to engage with tribes and consider their views— but the Interior Department has not kept its promise to keep tribes “appropriately informed.”

Graphic credit: Chas Chamberlin/Water Education Colorado

The Colorado River basin includes 30 federally-recognized tribes that depend on its water. Despite holding rights to about a quarter of the river’s flow, many tribes lack the funding and infrastructure to use their full allocations. They have historically been excluded from decision-making about how the river’s water is used, going back to foundational documents allocating the region’s water. They argue they are still being excluded during the unprecedented call for conservation…This is not the first time within the past year that tribes have come to the federal government with a call for greater inclusion. In November, twenty tribes within the basin sent a letter to the Interior Department broadly asking for greater inclusion in the long-term management of the Colorado River.

North American Indian regional losses 1850 thru 1890.

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