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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

San Juan River New Mexico

San Juan River Adjudication. (New Mexico v. United States, No. 74-184, Dist. Ct., 11th Judicial District, San Juan County, New Mexico).

This general stream adjudication was commenced in 1975 and includes most of the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and lands of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.

Navajo Nation San Juan River in New Mexico Water Rights Settlement.

The Navajo Nation Council approved a settlement of the Nations claims in 2004, and President Obama signed Pub. L. 111-11, which included the Nation’s settlement, in 2009. Federal and State laws require that the Adjudication Court approve all New Mexico water rights settlements. The settlement will only become effective when actions mandated in the settlement legislation have occurred.

Claims of the Navajo Nation (Subfile AB-07-1).

On August 28, 2013, after extensive discovery, numerous pre-trial motions and a hearing, the Adjudication Court granted the joint motion of the Nation, United States and State of New Mexico to enter the decrees without a trial. The decrees setting forth the water rights of the Navajo Nation were entered on November 1, 2013, a major milestone necessary to a final settlement.

Court of Appeals Litigation (New Mexico v. United States, No. 74-184, Case Nos. 33,437, 33,439, 33,534, and 33,535, New Mexico Court of Appeals).

Objectors to the Navajo Nation settlement filed four appeals challenging the District Court’s entry of the settlement decrees. The record has been compiled and submitted by the trial court. The Court of Appeals will calendar the matter and briefs will be filed as directed by the Court.

Settlement Implementation.

Construction of the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project (NGSWP), the water infrastructure development project included in the Nation’s San Juan River New Mexico Settlement, is well underway. The NGWSP is designed to provide a long-term sustainable water supply to meet the current and future demands of more than 43 Navajo chapters, the city of Gallup, and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation through the annual delivery of 37,764 acre-feet of water from the San Juan Basin. Completion of the NGWSP is another milestone required for a final settlement. The status of construction activities can be monitored at the following websites:

http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/navajo/nav-gallup

http://www.permits.performance.gov/projects/navajo-gallup-water-supply-project

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