Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission


Supporting Navajo Water Rights Through Public Advocacy

 Public Summary of a Proposed Comprehensive Arizona Settlement

This agreement will settle all of the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, and San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe water rights claims in Arizona, as follows: Upper Basin of the Colorado River, Lower Basin of the Colorado River, Little Colorado River (LCR) Basin, Groundwater (including the Navajo Aquifer (N-Aquifer), the Coconino Aquifer (C-Aquifer), and alluvial aquifers), Gila River Basin (Big Boquillas Ranch)

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Application for Scholarships!
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Explore the incredible opportunity offered by Brown and Caldwell's Navajo Nations and Tribal Nations STEM Scholarships. Empower your future and make a difference in your community through education.

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SAVE-THE-DATE for three additional public education meetings across New MexicoThe meetings will take place in the communities of Torreon, Tohajiilee, and Baca-Prewitt!

This follows nearly 30 public education meetings across Navajo Nation (Shonto, Forest Lake, Inscription House, LeChee, Round Rock, Red Valley, Ft. Defiance, Many Farms, Ganado, Chinle, Black Mesa, Pinon, Oljato, Red Mesa, Kayenta, Tuba City, Cameron, Dilkon, Leupp, Lupton, Rough Rock, & Coppermine)!

Hosted by the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission and Navajo DOJ's Water Rights Unit, A team of attorneys and experts from the Navajo Department of Justice Water Rights Unit, Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, and the Navajo Department of Water Resources are presenting information and updates on the proposed water rights settlement for the Rio San Jose Basin and Rio Puerco Basin in New Mexico.  There is time on the agenda for community members to ask questions and share comments and concerns. All community members and leaders, elders, youth organizers, relatives living in communities along the basins are encouraged to attend. Those communities include Baca/Prewitt, Casamero Lake, Crownpoint, Littlewater, Mariano Lake, Ramah, Smith Lake, Thoreau, Tóhajilee, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake, Pueblo Pintado, and Ojo Encino. Lunch is provided by Bidii Chidi and served before the meeting at 12:30 pm MDT. 

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Ensuring Reliable Access to Clean Water For Navajo Nation


Navajo Residents Including Allotees


Without Reliable Access to Water


Square Miles Across AZ, NM, & UT

For the Navajo people, water is more than just a resource  it's the lifeblood of our community and our future. Yet, for 30% of our residents, clean running water remains unreliable. Together, with dedication and transparency, we aim to change that.

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Who We Are

The Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission (NNWRC) supports the Navajo Department of Justice's Water Rights Unit and the Navajo Water Management Branch, combining expertise in law and hydrology. To date, the Nation has secured over 681,000 acre-feet of water, 300+ miles of pipeline, and $210 million for Utah-Navajo water projects. 

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Commission Matters


Tribal Sovereignty

Every acre-foot of water we secure is a step towards a thriving, self-sufficient Navajo Nation.

Public Education

In a landscape of information technology and social media, we strive to keep our communities informed, including our elders.


Protecting Navajo Interests

Our duty is to ensure access to water and promote the health and the vitality of our culture.


Commission Works


Community Outreach

The Commissioners and support staff immerse themselves in community discussions, gathering crucial information and data about water needs.


Water Resource Planning 

Information is assessed by the Navajo Nation Water Management Branch, in coordination with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Indian Health Service, to prioritize community water projects.


Advocacy & Negotiation

We support negotiations for maximum water allocation, ensuring a prosperous future for the Navajo Nation.


Successful negotiations open doors to a brighter, prosperous future. We envision adequate water supplies and infrastructure projects leading to sustainable growth and community development. Future uncertainties and risks that threaten our water rights include climate change, drought, and competing water claims. Failure to secure our rights could jeopardize not just water access, but the very essence of our communities' progress.


Navajo Water Rights Settlements

The lands of the Navajo Nation are located within the four sacred mountains, spanning across three states, with multiple water basins and sub-basins. The Nation has settled its claims in the San Juan River Basin Utah and San Juan River Basin New Mexico, both within the Upper Basin. The Nation is currently working to resolve water rights claims in Upper Basin Colorado River Arizona, Lower Basin Colorado River Mainstem, Little Colorado River Basin Arizona, Little Colorado River Basin New Mexico, which includes the Zuni River, and the Rio Grande Basin New MexicoNavajo Nation lies within the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basins; therefore, it must abide by a collection of compacts, treaties, statutes, and other authorities referred to as the Law of the Colorado River, which governs water allocations and apportionments. The purpose of this website is to educate the public on the complexity of Tribal Rights, including its legislative and hydrological context.

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Help us improve the educational resources that are offered on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission website! What additional information would you like to see added to the site?

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