‘Winters Doctrine’ on water rights still haunts the American West


by: Jerry Reynolds / Indian Country Today

From the article:

Echohawk, a veteran of water rights issues, said that over the course of almost four decades, NARF has encountered a consistent challenge – federal inability to fund the resolution of tribal water rights claims.

”For centuries, the federal government has promoted and subsidized non-Indian water rights to the detriment of vested tribal water rights. In the past four years alone, the Bush administration spent $2.3 billion on water infrastructure in Iraq, $1.6 billion on water-related issues in other countries, and $2.5 billion on water rights claims in the [American] West outside of Indian country. … We strongly urge this committee [Natural Resources, through its subcommittee on water and power] to support the New Mexico senators … We believe securing a permanent funding mechanism will resolve most of the problems of settling Indian water rights throughout the West.”

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