Native American Water Rights Settlement Project

Alternative Title

Taos Pueblo Water Rights Settlement (Dec. 12, 2012)


Pueblo of Taos


Taos Pueblo Water Rights Settlement


Taos Indian Reservation




Rio Grande Basin

Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)

Rio Pueblo de Taos; Rio Hondo


State of New Mexico et al. v. Abetya et al. and Arellano et al.

Document Type

Settlement agreement


Settlement Parties

Publication Date



Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement. Abeyta Water Rights Adjudication Settlement Agreement among the US, Taos Pueblo, NM, Taos Valley Acequia Assn & it s 55 Member Acequias, Town of Taos, El Prado Water & Sanitation District & 12 Taos Area Mutual Domestic Water Consumers’ Assns. (Dec. 12, 2012) (final signatures Dec. 21, 2012) The Settlement Agreement goals are to resolve the water right claims of the Taos Pueblo; protect the non-Pueblos irrigation uses; restore and protect Buffalo Pasture; and foster cooperation among Taos Valley residents regarding the allocation and use of water resources. The agreement addresses ground and surface water uses; San Juan Cham contract water; instream flow uses, domestic wells; and uses from springs. The agreement provides for funding and projects such as water rights acquisition, rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, aquifer storage and recovery, mitigation, and various watershed protection activities including Buffalo Pasture revitalization. The agreement addresses administration issues such as development of a ground and surface water model, data collection and sharing; well monitoring; uniform irrigation requirements; a well siting, spacing and use limits; permits; transfers; priority calls; water sharing; joint use of ditches; entry upon Pueblo lands; mitigation of over-diversions; surface water depletions; and aquifer protection. The agreement provides the enactment of a Pueblo Water Code.


Settlement Agreement, 123 pages

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