Thu Dec 20th, 2018
The Ten Tribes Partnership and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released the Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study at the annual Colorado River Water Users Association gathering in Las Vegas, Nev. on December 13.
The Study presents current and potential future uses of tribal water rights within the Basin. The ten tribes participating in this collaborative initiative hold rights to nearly 2.8 million acre-feet of Colorado River water. The information presented in the Study should help water users throughout the Basin that face increasing demand for water alongside projected lower future natural supply.
“In light of the importance of tribal water rights in the Colorado River Basin, the Partnership and Reclamation collaborated to contribute crucial tribal-specific information to the discussions regarding Colorado River management,” says Lorelei Cloud, Chairman of the Ten Tribes Partnership. “Without the hard work and dedication of Reclamation, tribal leaders, and tribal staff, this critical project would not have been possible.”
The Study identifies how much water tribes use now, where that water is used, and how much water they project to use by the year 2060. It also examines the effects of increased tribal water use within the Basin over the coming decades.
As time goes on, each of the participating tribes plans to utilize its full entitlement of water by or before the year 2060. The Study should inform the strategic management of water in the Basin and foster more cooperative efforts to share an increasingly valuable resource.
The Ten Tribes Partnership, which was formed in 1992, is a coalition of ten Tribal Nations with homelands in the Colorado River Basin and substantial federal Indian reserved water rights in the Colorado River or its tributaries. Five-member Tribes are located in the Upper Basin (Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Nation, and Navajo Nation) and five are in the Lower Basin (Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Quechan Indian Tribe, and Cocopah Indian Tribe). For the past six years, the Partnership has worked with Reclamation to expand the knowledge gained from Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, released in December of 2012.
The Study Report is available at: www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy/tribalwaterstudy.html