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Navajo Generating Station closure leaves questions of water ownership

Posted by   /  November 8, 2019  /  No Comments

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Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant near Page, Ariz., in January 2013. /Photo by eflon / Flickr

By Parker Shea | Arizona Mirror

Navajo Generating Station is closing, and that means an enormous amount of water is up for grabs, a situation that will lead to either a new settlement or more legal battles over the future of the water. 

Multiple sources told the Arizona Mirror that the future of the water formerly used to operate NGS, which will shut down in December, is uncertain. But the Navajo Nation has claimed it, along with the rest of Arizona’s water from the Upper Colorado River Basin. Navajo Nation legal counsel said the history of discussions around the water that was used at NGS indicates that the water belongs to the Nation. 

“When the NGS participants proposed a power plant that would use this water, they knew that it would be necessary to acquire the consent of the Navajo Nation to the use of the water by NGS, and they obtained various resolutions from the Navajo Tribal Council expressing the Nation’s acquiescence to the use of the water by NGS,” Stanley Pollack, a contract attorney for the Navajo Nation’s Water Rights Unit, told the Mirror via email. 

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