Navajo look to water settlements with Hopi, AZ stakeholders

Navajo Nation representatives and AZ Governor Katie Hobbs
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February 1, 2024 — The 25th Navajo Nation Council issued Speaker Crystalyne Curley’s report on various issues facing the Nation. Water rights in Arizona were one of the focus areas.

Speaker Curley reported that the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission established a negotiation team to represent the Navajo Nation in negotiating a water rights settlement with the state of Arizona and other stakeholders. Council Delegates Brenda Jesus, Cherilyn Yazzie, Otto Tso, Vince James, Carl Slater, Shawna Claw, Shaandiin Parrish, Herman Daniels, and Germaine Simonson have been appointed along with representatives from the Executive Branch and several technical experts.

“Considering the severe drought conditions in the southwest and particularly in Arizona,” Speaker Curley wrote, “negotiating a settlement presents many challenges for all stakeholders including the Navajo Nation. During recent negotiation team meetings, I have conveyed my commitment and support for the efforts to come together and reach a proposed settlement with the Hopi Tribe before negotiating with other stakeholders.”

In collaboration with the Water Rights Commission, Attorney General Ethel Branch, and the Executive Branch, the Council began hosting late January public education sessions in various Arizona communities to present information regarding proposed Colorado River settlements.

“It is very important that our Navajo people are informed and that we proceed carefully to ensure that our communities receive much needed water resources that can sustain generations to come,” Speaker Curley reported.

Image from Speaker Crystalyne Curley’s report:  Left to right: Delegate Dr. Andy Nez, Delegate Vince James, Delegate Helena Nez Begay, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, Navajo Nation Council Speaker Crystalyne Curley, Delegate Carl Slater, Delegate Lomardo Aseret, and Delegate Cherilyn Yazzie.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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