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Water Allocation from the Colorado River

Grand Canyon, Water Allocation, Hualapai Tribe

     The Hualapai Nation has a right to the use of water from the Colorado River to the extent of its need to serve its people and to develop its homeland. The basis of this right is the Executive Order of President Chester A. Arthur dated January 4, 1883, which established the Hualapai Reservation. The Order fixed the northern boundary of the reservation as the middle of the Colorado River along a distance of 108 miles. Under principles established in a series of decisions by the United States Supreme Court, the Order has the effect of reserving for the Hualapais the right to use the river to meet its current and future requirements.

Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Hualapai, dnr, 
Water Resources, Allocation

     Notwithstanding this water right, the Hualapai Nation does not have a recognized entitlement to withdraw water from the Colorado River. The United States, in its operation of federal reclamation projects, has asserted control over withdrawals and deliveries of water. It exercises that control by requiring that all such withdrawals and deliveries must be based upon formal contracts with the Secretary of the Interior. Most of Arizona's share of the Colorado River water has been allocated in this manner. In many cases the Secretary has entered into allocation contracts with non-Indian entities that have no claim of water right.

     The Hualapai Nation is vigorously asserting its entitlement to an allocation contract for Colorado River water. It is determined to continue these efforts so that it can meet the water needs of future generations of Hualapai people.


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