Everybody’s calling the big omnibus public lands bill that passed the House yesterday a wilderness bill, but we water wonks know better, right:
Legislation to settle a long-standing dispute over the Navajo Nation’s rights to water from the San Juan River won final congressional approval Wednesday.
The legislation acknowledges the Navajo Nation’s right to 600,000 acre-feet per year of water from the San Juan — an amount equivalent to about six times the city of Albuquerque’s annual water use.
The bill formally ratifies a deal between New Mexico officials and the Navajo Nation worked out in 2005 intended to end legal uncertainty over the Navajo Nation’s legal entitlement to San Juan water. It now goes to the White House, where the president is expected to sign it next week.