WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – A New Mexico appeals court said the Navajo Nation has water rights in the San Juan River Basin.
On Nov. 1, Judge James Wechsler, said that the rights were the product of a negotiated settlement the court previously determined to be “fair, reasonable and consistent with law and public policy.”
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly hailed the decision as a major triumph for the Navajo Nation observing that, “water is a sacred element that is needed for life.”
“This decision recognizes the Navajo rights to water from the San Juan River,” Shelly said. “We can now focus on the future of water needs for our residents in New Mexico.”