Water Allocation from the Colorado River
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
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.
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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