Regional
11:04 am
Sat August 17, 2013

NM Court Signs Off On Navajo Water Settlement

The Navajo Nation has cleared a major hurdle in expanding its agricultural operations in northwestern New Mexico.

A state court on Friday signed off on a settlement that gives the tribe enough water from the San Juan River to irrigate 40,000 acres of farmland.

The 130,000 acre-feet is above the 195,000 acre-feet the Navajo Nation already uses.

Navajo Nation attorney Stanley Pollack tells the Albuquerque Journal that the agreement is a historic milestone in the tribe's efforts to secure what's necessary to ensure a permanent homeland for the Navajo people.

Opponents of the settlement still have a chance to appeal the ruling by Judge James Wechsler.

The agreement had already won approval from Congress, and a pipeline to deliver the water to Navajo communities is being built.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.