Energy & Environment

Tribal nations to receive $1.7B in water rights settlements

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Tuesday announced that her agency will fulfill tribal water rights settlements using funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Interior Department will provide tribal communities with $1.7 billion in funding from the law, according to a statement released Tuesday.

The bipartisan infrastructure law provides $13 billion overall to tribal communities as well as makes them eligible for further investments.

The law provides $2.5 billion for the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund, which will provide tribal communities with water resources.

“Water is a sacred resource, and water rights are crucial to ensuring the health, safety and empowerment of Tribal communities,” Haaland said in the statement. “With this crucial funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Interior Department will be able to uphold our trust responsibilities and ensure that Tribal communities receive the water resources they have long been promised.”

She added: “I am grateful that Tribes, some of whom have been waiting for this funding for decades, are finally getting the resources they are owed.”

The tribes and settlements that will receive funding are: Aamodt Litigation Settlement (Pueblos of San Ildefonso, Nambe, Pojoaque, and Tesuque); Blackfeet Nation; Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; Crow Nation; Gila River Indian Community; Navajo-Utah Water Rights Settlement and Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project; San Carlos Apache Nation; Tohono O’odham Nation; and White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Haaland visited the Gila River Indian Community with members of the Arizona congressional delegation before announcing the Interior Department’s plans.

Tags Deb Haaland Department of Interior Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund Infrastructure Joe Biden tribal rights Water

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