4. Current Status: Litigation, Settlements, Etc.
In 2022, Jemez and Zia Pueblos, the State of New Mexico, and non-Indian water users executed a settlement agreement quantifying the rights of the two Pueblos and reaching agreement on other key issues. Also in 2022, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos, the State of New Mexico, and non-Indian water users executed a settlement setting out the water rights to be quantified for the two Pueblos and reaching agreement on other key issues, including the requirements and parameters of a possible future project to import water to Pueblo lands. The United States is not a signatory to either of the 2022 settlement agreements, nor is the Navajo Nation. The Nation is working with the parties to achieve settlement on its claims in the Rio San Jose Basin.
On March 1, 2023, both settlements were introduced to the Senate, with a favorable report without amendment on March 29, 2023. The two settlements are pending Senate approval before being sent to the House for Approval. If approved, the settlements will have to be signed by the President in order to become law. The United States is conducting the hydrographic survey of the Navajo Nation lands.