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Hualapai Water Ordinance


Hualapai, Water, Resources, 
      Natural Resources, dnr, Springs, Conservation

Water is an indispensable necessity to the existence of Life as we, the Hualapai, know it. In the 1980 census Hualapai had a population count of 800 residents in the community of Peach Springs.  Presently, the Hualapai population is 2,300. This rapid growth has placed extreme pressure on the limited water resource for consumption.


Current community need for domestic water is taken care of by the Hualapai Department of Public Works within the Hualapai Tribe’s Administration. This is an important distinction as the Hualapai Water Resource Program develops water sources outside of the community setting.  Range Water is also an important aspect of the entire span of water management.  Range Water is located within the Agricultural Program of the Hualapai Department of Natural Resources which performs water systems maintenance in the cattle districts of Hualapai Lands.


Due to the demographics of the Reservation, with nearly all tribal members living in the community of Peach Springs, the greatest potential for water pollution from human impact is in the vicinity and down gradient of Peach Springs.


Potential hazards to the ground water aquifer are and have been existent in the down gradient. An abandoned sawmill is located at the north end of town. Off the Reservation but up gradient of Peach Springs, is a limestone mine and lime production facility which is still in operation. In recent years a railroad depot, gas station, sewage lagoons, and other sites with underground storage tanks have been removed which were located in the area.  


As the community's water supply wells are located down gradient of Peach Springs, they should be tested for pollutants that may have been discharged by development in the Peach Springs area.


The Hualapai Tribe has initiated laws to preserve and protect our vital and necessary natural resource; water, through the adoption of a Water Resource Ordinance. The purposes of the Ordinance are as follows:


1.    To designate uses for which all Tribal waters shall be protected;

2.    To prescribe narrative and numeric water quality standards for all Tribal waters in order to sustain the designated uses;

3.    To minimize degradation of existing water quality and assure that economic growth occurs in a manner consistent with the preservation of existing uses;

4.    To promote the social welfare and economic well-being of the Hualapai Tribe; and

5.    To protect the health and welfare of the Hualapai people by ensuring that water is safe for recreation, drinking, domestic and agricultural purposes.


Historical reference:

In conjunction with this Water Resource Ordinance, containing our water quality standards, the Hualapai Tribe had previously submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency Treatment as State (TAS) status which was expected to be finalized by mid 2003, recognizing our water quality standards.

The Hualapai Tribe now has the same capacity as states with respect to the Clean Water Act’s Section 106 – Water Pollution Control Program.

The 1987 Clean Water Act Amendments (i.e., Section 518 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.,) added a new section titled "Indian Tribes" which authorizes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to treat federally recognized Indian tribes as states for certain provisions, including financial assistance under such programs as the Water Pollution Control Program. Section 518 is commonly known as the "Treatment as a State (TAS) section". The Hualapai Tribe has water quality standards; Treatments as a State (TAS) recognition: conducts annual water quality assessments and every five years submits a 305b report.  Non-Point Source and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Programs are developed and administered ensuring the protection and anti-degradation of our water resources.

Recently in 2009, the Hualapai Department of Natural Resources submitted their 2009 - 2010 Triennial Review of water quality standards to EPA and it was approved.

Water, Natural Resources, Wetlands, Conservation, 


Water Conservation, Natural Resources, 
      Wetlands, testing and monitoring

The Hualapai Tribe has also adopted a Wetlands Protection and Preservation Ordinance to ensure water quality standards.

The purpose of the wetland biomonitoring program is to assess the ecological integrity and functionality of wetlands on the Hualapai Reservation as they are affected by climatic conditions, land use practices, and pollution over time, as based on the springs inventory protocols (SIP) of Stevens and Springer (2005) and Stevens et al. (in prep.), and the stream sampling techniques of Stevens et al. (2005), and as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency

Purpose Statement:

The Hualapai Tribe recognizes wetlands as unique, delicately balanced repositories of life having a strong physical and spiritual interconnection with Hualapai culture and traditions. Wetlands perform many functions that are important to Hualapai society, such as: providing Tribal members with the opportunity to continue to conduct ethno botanical practices, thus ensuring the preservation and continuation of ancestral skills and uses; improving water quality; recharging groundwater; providing natural flood control boundaries and assisting in shoreline stabilization; acting as a source of filtration for non-point source run-off; and supporting a wide variety of fish, wildlife and plants.

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