Alternative Title

Title I - Central AZ Project Settlement of 2004| Title II - Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement


Akimel O’otham (Pima) Tribe, Pee-Posh (Maricopa) Tribe


Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation


Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement


Gila River Indian Community


Gila River Indian Reservation




Lower Colorado Region

Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)

Lower Colorado

Document Type



United States

Publication Date



Federal legislation: Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement of 2004 as Title II found in the Arizona Water Settlement Act of 2004. Title I reallocates 28,200 acre-feet of CAP agricultural priority water; amends the Colorado River Basin Project Act re Lower Colorado River Basin Development Fund making $53M available for the Gila River Indian Community Water OM&R Trust Fund. Title II ratifies the Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement of Feb. 4, 2003. The Secretary will comply with National Environmental Policy Act in executing the Agreement and Reclamation is the lead agency for compliance. The DOI Secretary shall provide rehabilitation, operation, maintenance and replacement of the San Carlos Irrigation Project and provide electricity to the Project. The BIA shall continue to be responsible for operation and maintenance of certain dams and reservoirs. The Act provides that costs are allocated to specific funds. Congress is providing allottees with benefits equal to or in excess of what they currently possess. The US will hold the water rights and resources described under the Agreement in trust for the Community and for allottees. The Secretary shall reallocate and enter into contracts with the community for CAP water 18,600 a/f/y of agricultural priority water, 18,100 a/f/y of Indian priority water, 17,000 a/f/y of municipal/industrial priority water, and 102,000 a/f/y of agricultural priority water. The Community shall enact a Tribal Water Code, to be approved by the DOI Secretary, through which the Community shall administer its water rights. Allottees must first exhaust remedies under the Tribe's water code and law before seeking recourse from the US. The Community may lease these waters (not to exceed 100 years) with some limitations. CAP water may be used off reservation but not out of state. The benefits received through this Act shall fully satisfy all Community claims. The Community is authorized to waive & release claims against AZ, person, entity, including the Salt River Project, corporation or municipality for past, present or future water claims, subsidence damages, and water quality. The US is authorized to waive & release claims against the Community. After-acquired trust lands shall not have federal reserved rights to ground or surface water. The Community agrees not to adopt water quality standards that exceed those of AZ or the US regarding the water delivery system and discharge of water into the system. Under the settlement agreement certain amounts have been paid the Community by AZ, Salt River Project. Treasury shall establish the Gila River Indian Community Water OM&R Fund. Reclamation shall lead on environmental compliance and repair any resulting subsidence damage. Secretary shall provide funds to Gila Valley and Franklin Irrigation Districts in attempt to acquire rights that will decrease demands on the Gila River or transfer them to San Carlos Irrigation Project for Community benefit. The Gila River agreement depends upon execution of the New Mexico consumptive and forbearance agreement, notice of which should be received no later than Dec. 31, 2014. Appropriations include $52,396,000 for rehabilitation of irrigation works, a maximum of $4M for subsidence remediation, $10M for habitat conservation, $15 million for the Gila Valley Irrigation District, and $13,900,000 to retire debt incurred on the Safford facility. {Source: Government Printing Office]


Federal legislation: 98 pages; Title II: 37 pages

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