Sunday, July 5, 2015

29 tribes hold 20% of Colorado River rights

The walk into the Colorado River in Lake Mead Recreation Area to Arizona Hot Springs is other-worldly.  One can almost feel the eyes of the wildlife looking down at you while you hike.  Most annoying, however, was the steady stream of airliners on approach to Las Vegas just thirty miles away as the vulture flies.
With the oldest claims to water, the tribes command a considerable role in directing the region’s future. Combined, they hold rights to a substantial portion of the Colorado River’s flow: roughly 20 percent, or 2.9 million acre-feet, which is more water than Arizona’s allocation from the river. The tribal share, moreover, will increase, perhaps by as much as hundreds of thousands of acre-feet as the 13 tribes without confirmed rights settle their claims with federal and state governments. The power of settlements to shape the future is already apparent. New Mexico, for one, has set aside a portion of its unused share of the San Juan River, a Colorado River tributary, for tribal water rights settlements, according to the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. [excerpt, Brett Walton, In Drying Colorado River Basin, Indian Tribes Are Water Dealmakers]
There is conscious action to remove the Glen Canyon Dam since Lake Mead could now hold the contents of Lake Powell.

Hayduke lives.

No comments: