N.M. Delegation Announces $169.5 Million From Infrastructure Law To Fulfill Indian Water Rights Settlements
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) announced a $169,500,000 allocation to continue fulfilling settlements of Indian water rights claims using funding from the Infrastructure Law and the Reclamation Water Settlements Fund.â€¯
As part of this overall allocation, the Navajo-Gallup Water Project, which includes the Navajo Nation and the Jicarilla Apache Nation, will receive $137,000,000 this year from the Infrastructure Law. Another $2,000,000 will be directed to Navajo-Gallup Water supply operations, maintenance and replacementâ€¯efforts.
The Aamodt Water Rights Settlement, which includes the Pueblos of Nambé, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque, will receive $30,500,000 in mandatory federal funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation this year.
“These water settlements represent a promise to Tribal nations under treaty obligations,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The historic funding that we delivered as part of the Infrastructure Law will go a long way toward finally fulfilling this promise and providing critical water security to Tribal nations and long-term certainty to their neighboring communities in New Mexico.”
“Water is precious to the lives and traditions of New Mexicans, and it’s something I continue to fight for in the U.S. Senate. As a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I’m proud to join the New Mexico delegation in welcoming investments to secure water resources for Tribal and Pueblo Nations in New Mexico and the country. I am glad to see this funding continue to support water rights settlements in New Mexico, projects that are vital to sustaining traditional and cultural relationships in our incredible state.” said Luján.
“This funding helps bring clean and reliable water supplies to Tribes in New Mexico and across the country.” said Leger Fernández, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs. “This will invest almost $170 million in the Aamodt Water Rights Settlement and the Navajo-Gallup water project in my district. This critical funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps the government fulfill its trust obligations to tribes and provides resources so that our indigenous communities can not only survive, but thrive. Agua es vida.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for New Mexico and the critical water needs of our communities,” said Stansbury, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “These funds will help make good on federal commitments and responsibilities to the Pueblos of Nambé, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque and address the ongoing water needs of the Pojoaque valley. As a water resources professional that has worked on these issues for many years, I know how crucial these federal dollars and the protection of our vital water resources are, because as we say in New Mexico—water is life.”
“The Infrastructure Law is investing more than $13 billion directly in Tribal nations across the country and makes Tribal nations eligible to compete for billions more in infrastructure investments,” said Vasquez. “That includes $2.5 billion to implement the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund, which will deliver long-promised water resources to Tribes and certainty to their neighboring communities.”
The Infrastructure Law is investing more than $13 billion directly in Tribal nations across the country and makes Tribal nations eligible to compete for billions more in infrastructure investments. That includes $2.5 billion to implement the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund, which will deliver long-promised water resources to Tribes and certainty to their neighboring communities.