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Little Colorado River New Mexico

Zuni River Adjudication. (United States v. State of New Mexico, et al. CIV 01 0072, U.S. District Court, New Mexico).

The United States initiated this federal court action to determine the water rights of the Zuni Tribe in 2001, after the state court general stream adjudication was dismissed for lack of prosecution by the State. Most of the Navajo lands within the Zuni River Basin are in the Ramah Chapter, but some District 16 lands are also within the Basin. The Navajo Nation intervened in the adjudication in 2002. Two subproceedings within the adjudication address the Zuni and Navajo claims, and while both subproceedings are active, the Zuni claims will be litigated first. The United States filed a Complaint and Statement of Claims on behalf of the Nation in 2012 and the Nation’s Supplemental Complaint was filed April 30, 2013. The Nation is engaged in preliminary settlement negotiations with the United States, the Zuni Tribe, and the State of New Mexico, and technical study of the hydrology of the basin by the parties is ongoing. Documents can be found at the adjudication website:

There is no pending adjudication of the Rio Puerco Basin. Navajo lands within the Basin include lands in District 16 near Gallup, New Mexico.

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