U.S. Gov’t to pay Navajo Nation almost $200mn for water rights in Utah*
Under a new bill introduced on Capitol Hill, the federal government would pay the Navajo Nation nearly $200 million for water projects, with another $8 million coming from Utah, as part of a deal to end more than a decade of contention over water rights.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the bill on Thursday, with Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) filing companion legislation in the House. Senate Bill 664 would authorize the U.S. government to spend up to $198.3 million for Navajo water projects like wells, pipelines and treatment plants.
It took more than 13 years for a federal negotiations team from the Bureau of Reclamation, the state of Utah and the Navajo Nation to agree to a deal, which the current Navajo Nation Council listed as a priority when it took office in 2015. Formal…
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