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Law & Water -- Working with Native Americans on Water Issues (PDF)

  • Author(s): Walker, Stephen A.; Baker, Keri-Ann C.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: May 2012
  • Volume / Number: 104, Number 5
  • Page(s): 18-22
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0076109
Full Text: pdf

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There are 566 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States. They are independent sovereign nations. Court cases have found that Indian tribes have a status that is higher than a state. This special status provides tribes with unique sovereignty rights that are recognized in the allocation of water. There are various ways tribes' water rights are adjudicated. These include formal tribal water settlements that are ratified by Congress, other agreements, judicially declared water rights, and the Winters Doctrine.

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