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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Little Colorado River Arizona

Little Colorado River (LCR) Adjudication (In re the General Adjudication to Use Water from the Little Colorado River System and Source, Civil Case No. 6417, Superior Court for Apache County.)

This general stream adjudication was filed in 1978 to determine the nature, extent, and priority of all water rights within the LCR Watershed. The LCR adjudication involves all of the water rights throughout most of northeastern and north-central Arizona north of the Mogollon Rim, including rights of the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Zuni Pueblo, and a small portion of the rights of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The Navajo Nation filed its Statement of Claim in 1985. The Zuni and White Mountain Apache Tribes resolved their water rights claims pursuant to settlements entered in 2003 and 2014, respectively.

The adjudication court designates separate contested cases to determine the water rights for each claimant. Since 2000, the LCR Adjudication has focused on the claims of the Hopi Tribe in the contested case described below. The Arizona Department of Water Resources has informed the adjudication court that it will complete the Hopi Hydrographic Survey Report no later than September 1, 2015. This filing will trigger the adjudication of the Hopi claims in a separate contested case.

  • Navajo Nation Statement of Claimant (1985)
  • US Third Amended Statement of Claimant (Hopi) (2015)
  • Hopi Tribe Third Amended Statement of Claimant (2015)
In re Hopi Priority, Contested Case No. 6417-201.

This contested case was assigned to a Special Master for hearing and recommendation to the Judge. The litigation concerns the priority of the claims of the Hopi Tribe. The Hopi Tribe claims “a water right with an immemorial priority senior to that of any other claimant, Indian or non-Indian,” including the Navajo Nation. The Special Master issued his report on April 24, 2013, but did not address the relative priorities of the Navajo and Hopi claims. The Navajo Nation filed objections to the Report on June 30, 2013 and oral argument was held on January 14, 2014. The matter is awaiting a ruling from the Judge on the objections and issuance of a final report.

  • Special Master’s Report
  • Navajo Nation Objections to Special Master's Report
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