Navajo-Hopi water deal down the drain in Arizona
Written bySHAUN MCKINNON, Arizona Republic
The collapse of a long-sought Navajo-Hopi water settlement this month represents a lost opportunity for the tribes to secure reliable water supplies and for Sen. Jon Kyl to close one last tribal deal before he leaves office in January.
Navajo lawmakers voted July 5 to reject the agreement and Kyl's enabling legislation, which would have authorized funding for water-delivery projects. The Hopi Tribal Council on June 21 narrowly approved the settlement but voted down Kyl's bill, a necessary component of the deal. The settlement required the approval of both tribes to move forward.
Support for the agreement eroded after Kyl introduced the bill in February. Opponents framed the deal as unfair to the tribes, claiming its central component awarded groundwater that already belonged to the reservation communities.
The tribes could still try to salvage pieces of the settlement, but time has nearly run out to reintroduce it in Congress, where attention is focused almost exclusively on the election.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE