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Legislation would let an Arizona tribe lease its Colorado River water allocation

A new proposal in Congress would let Arizona’s Colorado River Indian Tribes lease portions of their federal Colorado River allocations for the first time, a move the tribes said would benefit both the river and tribal economies.... Read more»

'Climate change is fundamentally altering the Colorado River': States, tribes grapple with drought

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday, emphasizing how serious the situation is but offering few solutions.... Read more»

Trial starts in Rio Grande Supreme Court water lawsuit between New Mexico and Texas

Attorneys laid out their arguments Monday during the first day of a virtual trial in a lawsuit over Rio Grande water with Texas and the federal government alleging that New Mexico’s use of groundwater cut into Texas’ share of river water.... Read more»

House Democrats kick off reconciliation process with $30 billion Interior bill

The House Natural Resources Committee inched toward approval of a $30 billion bill to fund climate, tribal and environmental programs, marking the first time a committee considered any piece of the $3.5 trillion plan meant to change U.S. health, climate, education and tax policy. ... Read more»

Tribal officials outline infrastructure gap ‘big as the Grand Canyon’

Witnesses at the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Wednesday cited statistics that depict a bleak picture of infrastructure on reservations, including water and electricity, and said that even those numbers were likely overly optimistic. “It’s time for America to support the Navajo Nation and all Indigenous communities and invest in utility infrastructure,” said Walter Haase, general manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.... Read more»

Superior mayor, tribal officials spar over bill to stop Oak Flat mine

The mayor of Superior told a House panel Tuesday that a bill canceling a massive copper mine at Oak Flat would be “devastating” for the Pinal County town and its hopes to revitalize its economy.... Read more»

Arizona tribal leaders ask for more funding, less meddling for water projects

Arizona tribal officials told a Senate committee that the federal government can help address a crisis with water infrastructure on their lands through more funding, and less meddling. It’s not just lack of money that’s holding tribes back, but federal laws that hamstring their ability to make decisions for themselves.... Read more»

Ginsburg’s decades on high court included numerous Arizona rulings

Any case before the Supreme Court has national impact, but a fraction of cases the court decided during Ginsburg’s tenure directly affected Arizona. ... Read more»

Two Arizona tribes, advocacy group join suits over EPA’s clean-water rule rollback

Two Arizona tribes and a Phoenix-based advocacy group joined a pair of lawsuits this week to reverse a Trump administration clean-water rule that critics said would open the “vast majority of Arizona’s waterways” to pollution and degradation.... Read more»

Navajo, Hualapai water-rights bills get warm reception in House hearing

Tribal leaders urged House lawmakers Wednesday to support a handful of bills that would guarantee water to their tribes in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico and fund the water treatment plants and pipelines to deliver it.... Read more»

Border news roundup

Immigration bill released amid security, economic concerns

The Gang of Eight debuted their immigration reform bill; New York dairy farmers, religious leaders and tech industry leaders including Mark Zuckerberg weighed in on the debate; Mexico faces law enforcement challenges and business opportunities.... Read more»

Senators urge tribal leaders to act on water settlement

Arizona’s senators urged tribal leaders Thursday to move quickly on a proposed settlement of water-rights claims so they can push the bill through Congress before this session ends.... Read more»