High Country News: Tribal nations hold some of the best water rights in the West

But to use them, tribes often must negotiate settlements that need federal approval.

Many tribal nations are currently asserting those rights as a way to ensure economic vitality, affirm sovereignty and provide basic services that some communities lack. In many places, however, Native water rights have yet to be quantified, making them difficult to enforce. Settlement is usually the preferred remedy; it’s cheaper, faster and less adversarial than a lawsuit, and can include funding for things like pipelines or treatment plants. 

New bill highlights conflict between development, water supply in San Pedro

"In the future, it may be easier for similar developments to be built in rural areas. New legislation proposed by Arizona State Sen. Gail Griffin (R-Hereford) could loosen water requirements for new developments in rural counties.  But as new projects seek to break ground, environmentalists worry how the added population will affect the demand for the San Pedro River’s water in the future. Biologically, the river is an irreplaceable riparian stronghold for the area with its finite water supply, according to Nicole Gillett, conservation advocate with the Tucson Audubon Society.  With more demand for water, what will happen to the river?" . . .

Mohave County fighting CAP proposal to buy, move water to Tucson, Phoenix suburbs

"The agency that operates the CAP wants to spend $34 million on farmland and water rights from a rural slice of northwestern Arizona along the Colorado River to slake the thirst of the growing Tucson and Phoenix suburban areas".

Kevin Moran: Bold action still needed for the Colorado River

"progress has been made on water conservation....we should use this brief reprieve to double our efforts to improve how we use, manage and share our limited supply of Colorado river water. ...the long term challenge hasn't changed....."