WASHINGTON – Arizona U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally cosponsored the bipartisan Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act—legislation that meets the federal government’s obligation to secure the water needs of the Navajo Nation.
“The Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act settles a decades-long negotiation and provides certainty to the Navajo Nation’s water security. I’ll continue working across the aisle to ensure the federal government makes good on its promises to tribal nations,” said Sinema.
“This is a tremendous bipartisan accomplishment to bring much-needed certainty to the Navajo Nation’s water supply,” said McSally. “I look forward to working to pass this into law to expand economic opportunity and uphold the government’s commitment to the Navajo.”
The Navajo Nation’s water rights in Utah have never been formally recognized. The Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act settles the Navajo Nation’s water claim in Utah, funds critical water infrastructure for the Navajo Nation in Utah, honors the federal government’s trust relationship with the Navajo Nation, and saves taxpayers millions of dollars in potential litigation costs over the water dispute.
Specifically, the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act provides the Navajo Nation the right to deplete 81,500 acre-feet of water per year from Utah’s Colorado River Basin apportionment. The bill also authorizes $210 million in funding for water infrastructure on Utah portion of Navajo Nation to access the water.