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Water Rights Agreement with Colorado River Indian Tribes in Arizona Signed

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo), Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community), and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton on Friday traveled to the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) community to commemorate a historic water rights agreement between the Department, CRIT and the state of Arizona.

The agreement will – for the first time – give the tribes the ability to lease, exchange or store a portion of its Arizona Colorado River water entitlement. The community includes almost 300,000 acres of land, with the river serving as the focal point and lifeblood of the area.

The Colorado River Indian Tribes Water Resiliency Act of 2022 – which paved the way for this agreement – is the product of many years of diligent negotiations among the tribes, the state, and non-Indian water users and reflects the federal government's commitment to tribal self-determination and tribal sovereignty.


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