Tribal Water

Arizona's tribal governments and communities are important stakeholders in the CAP system. Following enactment of the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, a total forty-seven percent of the CAP supply now is designated for Indian water rights settlements. This makes CAP the largest single provider of Colorado River water to Native American water users in the Colorado River system.

Many view CAP as a critical tool for settling Indian water rights claims. To date, nine tribes have partial or completed settlements. Two tribes have a proposed partial settlement pending in Congress. Four tribes have court decreed Lower Colorado River water rights.

CAP Indian Water Rights Settlements
Fully Resolved Claims:
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community
  • Fort McDowell Indian Community
  • Yavapai Prescott Apache Tribe
  • Pueblo of Zuni
  • San Carlos Apache Nation (Salt, Black, and San Pedro River claims only)
  • Gila River Indian Community
  • Tohono O'odham (San Xavier, Schuck Toak, and Gila Bend Districts only)
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe (pending full enactment)
Adjudicated Rights in Arizona v. California:
  • Cocopah Indian Tribe
  • Colorado River Indian Tribes
  • Fort Mohave Indian Tribe
  • Fort Yuma/QuechanTribe
Proposed Partial Resolution of Water Rights Claims:
  • Navajo Nation (Little Colorado River-settlement proposed and federal legislation introduced)
  • Hopi Tribe (Little Colorado River-settlement proposed and federal legislation introduced)

Additionally, three tribes have CAP contract entitlements and eleven tribes have outstanding, unresolved water rights claims. As more tribes begin to take CAP water, our need to understand one another's operations will continue to grow. To meet this changing demand, the CAP is proactively working with tribes and their communities, understanding that each tribe is different, each presents unique challenges and opportunities, and each is its own sovereign governmental entity. Collaboration constructed the CAP and CAP believes it is through ever-evolving partnerships like these that we can mutually propel our desert communities forward.