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Feds working with tribes on Arizona water deal

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has taken a strong stance on what it
wants in a Little Colorado River settlement, including first right to the water
over farmers and towns upstream, and marketing it off the reservation.

But if the settlement has any chance of reaching the lame-duck Congress, the
Interior Department says those positions likely won’t be honored.

The settlement to recognize the Navajo and Hopi rights from the river basin
failed to get the blessing of both tribes earlier this year, putting an end to
enacting legislation in Congress.

The Interior Department has been working with the tribes over the past month to
resolve what had been deal-breakers for the tribes and introduce new

About 30 other entities statewide would have to agree to the terms.


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