Chief Sponsor: David P. Hinkins

House Sponsor: Jack R. Draxler


9     General Description:
10          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor declares support for the
11     negotiated settlement of federal reserved water rights between the Navajo Nation and
12     representatives of the state of Utah.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     declares support for the negotiated settlement of federal reserved water rights,
16     particularly the state of Utah/Navajo Nation Reserved Water Rights Settlement
17     proposed by a negotiating committee composed of the Navajo Nation and Utah
18     representatives and currently being considered by a United States negotiating team.
19     Special Clauses:
20          None

22     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
23          WHEREAS, the Governor of Utah and the President of the Navajo Nation, by a
24     memorandum of understanding dated August 13, 2003, agreed to jointly explore settlement of
25     federal reserved water right claims for the portion of the Navajo Nation located in southeastern
26     Utah;
27          WHEREAS, representatives of the state of Utah and the Navajo Nation have negotiated

28     a proposed settlement in good faith;
29          WHEREAS, the proposed agreement identifies projects to be built that will provide
30     drinking water to portions of the Navajo Nation located within Utah;
31          WHEREAS, the proposed settlement involves an amount of water and other provisions
32     to minimize the impact of the settlement on Utah water rights, particularly municipal rights,
33     and to assure that the water needed for the settlement fits within Utah's allocation from the
34     Colorado River;
35          WHEREAS, the United States has appointed a federal negotiating team to represent its
36     interest as trustee for the Navajo Nation;
37          WHEREAS, the federal negotiating team is currently evaluating the proposed
38     settlement agreement;
39          WHEREAS, in exchange for providing most of the funds for construction of the
40     drinking water projects that the agreement contemplates, the United States receives a valuable
41     waiver of claims related to lands located within Utah;
42          WHEREAS, when the settlement is ratified by the Utah Legislature, the Navajo Nation,
43     and the United States Congress, it will have the effect of law to resolve all controversies with
44     regard to water right claims by the Navajo Nation and its members in Utah;
45          WHEREAS, in consideration of the promises made in and the value received from the
46     settlement agreement, the state of Utah will be required to contribute to the construction of
47     projects identified in the agreement;
48          WHEREAS, the amount is currently projected to be approximately $8 million;
49          WHEREAS, the state of Utah has established a Navajo Water Right Settlement Fund,
50     into which money has been deposited in anticipation of the agreement's ratification;
51          WHEREAS, at the present time, the Utah Legislature prefers not to encumber
52     additional funds for the settlement, recognizing these funds will likely not be expended during
53     the upcoming fiscal year; and
54          WHEREAS, the state of Utah maintains a rainy day fund that contains sufficient money
55     that could be used to fulfill its settlement obligations, if necessary:
56          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
57     Governor concurring therein, declares support for the negotiated settlement of federal reserved
58     water rights, particularly the state of Utah/Navajo Nation Reserved Water Rights Settlement

59     proposed by a negotiating committee composed of Navajo Nation and Utah representatives and
60     currently being considered by a United States negotiating team.
61          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of
62     the United States, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United
63     States House of Representatives, the President of the Navajo Nation, the Navajo Nation
64     Council, the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, and the members of Utah's congressional
65     delegation.

Legislative Review Note
     as of 1-28-15 10:00 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel