Interior Secretary Signs Water Rights Deal

July 30, 2013

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed the last of four American Indian water rights settlements approved by President Obama in 2010. The deal signed Tuesday will fund a water delivery system for the White Mountain Apache Tribe in eastern Arizona. It resolves the tribe's claims to the Gila and Little Colorado rivers and also allows Valley cities to lease water the tribe cannot use right away.

The legislation includes more than $200 million for the water delivery system that will run from the reservation towns of White River to Cibecue. Another $79 million will go to projects that include rehabilitating recreational lakes. According to the Interior Department, the White Mountain Apache Reservation has more than 1.5 million acres in the headwaters of the Salt River Basin.

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