Hualapai Nation


Drought Plan

In 2003, with funding from the Bureau of Reclamation, the Hualapai Department of Natural Resources developed the Cooperative Drought Contingency Plan (Plan) that identifies activities and policies to mitigate the impact of current drought conditions and to minimize the effects of future drought periods on the natural resources of the Hualapai Reservation. Many of the Tribe’s Departments and Programs assisted in the development of the Plan which is to undergo periodic review and revision. The Plan also provides for the Tribal Chairman or Chairwoman to declare “Emergency Drought” on the reservation providing for access to emergency drought relief funding directly from the federal government. The Plan was accepted by the United States Congress in 2004.


Drough plan, Mitigation strategies, 
      Water Conservation



Submitted to:

 United States Bureau of Reclamation

Lower Colorado Region

P.O. Box 61470

Boulder City, NV 89006-1470


Prepared by: 

Dr. Kerry Christensen

Hualapai Tribe

Department of Natural Resources

P.O. Box 300

Peach Springs, AZ 86434

December, 2003

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Much of the Hualapai’s culture and history is connected with permanent and ephemeral water sources in their homelands within the arid Southwest. Since time immemorial the Hualapai have endured periodic drought as part of the process of life and the environment.

The Hualapai Tribe seeks to mitigate the effects of current conditions of extended drought.  This undertaking will attempt to lessen the severity of impact to the future of the local economy and population.  Drought has a significant impact on areas such as tourism, big-game hunting, cattle grazing, and forestry to name a few factors relevant to the economic basis of the Hualapai today.  Through the creation of a Drought Contingency Plan, the Hualapai will protect the resources of the tribe as well as the lives of future generations.

The responsibilities for water monitoring response to drought and to drought mitigation lie primarily within the Hualapai Department of Natural Resources and the Hualapai Public Works Department.  However, the Hualapai Tribe also coordinates and cooperates with various outside agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geologic Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Arizona Game and Fish Department during periods of severe drought.


The Process

A.   Determine Monitoring Protocols and Personnel

·         Which drought indices to be used

·         Identify the responsible parties

·         How often monitored


B.        Identify Drought Response, Preparedness and Maintenance Activities

·         What needs to be done during various phases of drought and non-drought conditions

·         Who is responsible for performing these activities


To accomplish this, we assembled a team from within the Hualapai Natural Resources Department to identify personnel, programs, departments and local and regional agencies that would be responsible for drought monitoring, drought response activities, implementation of drought preparedness mitigation and for drought relief funding during the various phases of drought conditions.



•         Drought Task Force – Overall Program Management

•         Agriculture Program – Infrastructure improvement, range monitoring

•         Range Water Program – Monitoring, infrastructure maintenance

•         Water Resources Program – Wetland and water quality monitoring program

•         Cattle Districts – Herd management

•         Public Works Department – Municipal infrastructure, conservation program

•         Planning Department – Infrastructure development

•         Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Program – water and feed distribution for cattle and wildlife

•         Natural Resources Department – Monitoring, seeks funding, planning and administration

•         Forestry Program – Fuels reductions

•         Hualapai Tribal Council – Drought declaration, policy decisions



•         Bureau of Indian Affairs – Forestry Program (Fire)

•         Mohave County

•         Arizona Game and Fish Department

•         U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

•         U.S. Bureau of Reclamation





Agriculture Program

*Oversight and Quarterly Monitoring of Storage Facilities.

*Deliver non-potable water by hauling.  Continue normal delivery.

*Continue monthly reporting.  Continue monthly meetings.  Hold emergency meetings when necessary.

*Continue monthly monitoring of utilization plots.

*Implement supplemental feeding program.

*Maintain stock of feed.

*Haul water to catchments.  Identify need for catchments construction.

*Utilize trash pumps to fill tanks and trucks.

*Implement emergency grazing plan.  Move cattle to forage and/or reduce stocking rate.      

BIA Forestry

*Continue water hauling; monitor water availabilities.

•      Enforce area and visitor restrictions.

•      Discontinue prescribed burning.

•      Continue monitoring of environmental conditions.

•      Continue coordination with outside agencies and internal departments.

•      Continue implementation of disease remediation plan.

•      Continue implementation of exotic vegetation control.

Tribal Forestry Program

•      Provide BIA Forestry with personnel and equipment list.

•      Provide NEPA compliance for forest development.

Range Water

•      Communicate storage conditions to HDNR Director on a weekly basis.

•      Assure availability of emergency response personnel.

•      Install new drinkers.

Grand Canyon Resort Corporation

* Distribute information to employees and visitors regarding drought conditions/water conservation/safety issues.







BIA – Truxton Canon Field Office

•      Seek funding for drought mitigation, provide technical assistance, and seek support for drought related activities.

•      Implement trust responsibility and protection.

•      Coordinate with the Tribe and other agencies.

BIA – Area Office/Central Office

* Fund tribal mitigation activities where possible.

Univ. of AZ Agriculture Extension Agent

•      Provide drought training and education in the areas of drought recovery, herd health, livestock adjustments, forage monitoring and disease prevention.

•      Assist HDNR in development of mitigation strategies.

•      Announce the availability of funding programs to the Tribe.

AZ Dept. of Water Resources

* Provide funding for drought mitigation where possible.

Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service

•      Provide funding through the Non-insured Crop Disaster Program, Livestock Conservation Program, Emergency Water Hauling, Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program, and Environmental Quality Incentive Program.

•      Provide technical assistance where possible.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

•      Provide funding when available for implementation of the Drought Contingency Plan.

•      Provide technical assistance and funding for drought planning.

•      Provide technical assistance and funding for well drilling when available.

•      Provide technical assistance and funding for capital construction when available.

AZ Game and Fish Department

* Provide technical assistance and/or funding for drought-related wildlife activities where possible.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

*Provide drought-related funding through the Habitat Partnerships Program.





Hualapai Department of Natural Resources

P.O. Box 300, Peach Springs, Arizona 86434


947 Rodeo Way, Peach Springs, Arizona 86434

Phone: 928-769-2255   Fax928-769-2309




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