Lawmakers pitch $5B for Colorado River settlement

By Rob Hotakainen | 07/10/2024 06:06 AM EDT

The bill would end a long-running dispute and secure water rights for several tribes.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) is sponsoring a landmark water settlement bill with other members of the state's delegation. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Arizona lawmakers want Congress to approve a $5 billion settlement that would pay for building a new pipeline to carry water from Lake Powell to tribal reservation lands in the Colorado River Basin.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said his bill, the “Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Act of 2024,” would end a long-running dispute in his state and secure water rights for the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and the San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe.

Kelly said approval of the bill, which he introduced Monday, would mark “a historic step forward.”


“Securing water rights for these tribes upholds their sovereignty and lays the path for their growth and prosperity through increased investment in water infrastructure,” he said.