Native American Water Rights Settlement (NAWRS) Project Mapper

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The Native American Water Rights Settlement (NAWRS) project is a long-term collaboration between the University of New Mexico's Utton Transboundary Resources Center and University Libraries, the American Indian Law Center, Inc., and the Law School at the University of Idaho. The project has focused on the development of a growing collection of documents that formalize recognition of Native American water rights in the United States and developing innovated approaches for discovering documents within the collection. This document collection is intended to both serve as a consolidated reference for documents related to specific water rights settlements, but to also serve as a reference for informing the development of new settlements.

The document collection is maintained within UNM's institutional repository (IR) through which the documents can be located using basic textual search queries against the extensive documentation (metadata) that has been created for each document in the collection. A significant focus of the NAWRS development efforts since 2011 has been to extend the capabilities for discovering these documents beyond standard text searching. A prototype map interface for displaying the geographic locations of documents in the collection was released in 2013. In 2016-2017 a new map-based interface was developed that uses detailed geographic information that is embedded within the documentation for each document in UNM's IR to allow for combined text-based and spatial searches for documents in the collection. The corresponding code for the updated interface is published here.

The project has received support from multiple sponsors, including:

  • The Native American Rights Fund
  • The National Congress of American Indians
  • The Western States Water Council
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • The Rocky Mountain Mineral Foundation, and
  • Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

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