Negotiating Tribal Water Rights: Fulfilling Promises in the Arid West (Paperback)

Negotiating Tribal Water Rights: Fulfilling Promises in the Arid West By Bonnie G. Colby, John E. Thorson, Sarah Britton, David H. Getches (Foreword by) Cover Image

Negotiating Tribal Water Rights: Fulfilling Promises in the Arid West (Paperback)


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Water conflicts plague every river in the West, with the thorniest dilemmas found in the many basins with Indian reservations and reserved water rights—rights usually senior to all others in over-appropriated rivers. Negotiations and litigation over tribal water rights shape the future of both Indian and non-Indian communities throughout the region, and intense competition for limited water supplies has increased pressure to address tribal water claims.

Much has been written about Indian water rights; for the many tribal and non-Indian stakeholders who rely upon western water, this book now offers practical guidance on how to negotiate them. By providing a comprehensive synthesis of western water issues, tribal water disputes, and alternative approaches to dispute resolution, it offers a valuable sourcebook for all—tribal councils, legislators, water professionals, attorneys—who need a basic understanding of the complexities of the situation.

The book reviews the history, current status, and case law related to western water while revealing strategies for addressing water conflicts among tribes, cities, farms, environmentalists, and public agencies. Drawing insights from the process, structure, and implementation of water rights settlements currently under negotiation or already agreed to, it presents a detailed analysis of how these cases evolve over time. It also provides a wide range of contextual materials, from the nuts and bolts of a Freedom of Information Act request to the hydrology of irrigation. It also includes contributed essays by expert authors on special topics, as well as interviews with key individuals active in water management and tribal water cases.

As stakeholders continue to battle over rights to water, this book clearly addresses the place of Native rights in the conflict. Negotiating Tribal Water Rights offers an unsurpassed introduction to the ongoing challenges these claims present to western water management while demonstrating the innovative approaches that states, tribes, and the federal government have taken to fulfill them while mitigating harm to both non-Indians and the environment.

Bonnie G. Colby is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona and co-author of Water Markets in Theory and Practice. John E. Thorson is co-founder of Dividing the Waters, a project for judges involved in western water adjudications, and now serves as an administrative law judge for the State of California. Sarah Britton, a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, is an attorney with the Public Defender in Sacramento.
Product Details ISBN: 9780816524556
ISBN-10: 0816524556
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2005
Pages: 215
Language: English
“This is a very nice overview of an exceedingly complex topic, and one that will enlighten many people unfamiliar with the particular but important issues involved with Indian…water rights.”—Journal of the West

“A remarkably readable book that clearly outlines the issues and basis for tribal water disputes.”—Journal of Arizona History