The challenge of meeting a legal and moral obligation to Colorado River Basin tribes

At last week’s Getches-Wilkinson Center conference in Boulder, attorney Jay Weiner, who represents tribes (but was careful to say he was not speaking on any particular tribe’s behalf) made an important point, which is repeated in this excellent piece by Mark Armao this week in Grist:

“The basin is free-riding off of undeveloped tribal water rights,” said Jay Weiner, an attorney for the Quechan Indian Tribe. Weiner said there is a “fundamental tension” between tribes’ desire to fully develop their water rights and the overarching need for everyone in the basin to consume less water overall.