Water is our Responsibility

Water Rights

Case Study

Project:  Little Colorado River Adjudication, Arizona
Client:  U.S. Department of Justice/Bureau of Indian Affairs
            Southwest Regional Office

NRCE Services Provided:

•  Surface Water Hydrology
   •  Groundwater Services
   •  Water Rights
   •  Agricultural Services & Irrigation Engineering
   •  Storage, Distribution, Collection, & Treatment Systems
   •  CAD, GIS, & GPS Services

NRCE has been contracted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to prepare federally reserved water rights claims for the Navajo, Hopi, San Juan Southern Paiutes, Zuni, and White Mountain Apache Tribes (Tribes) within the Little Colorado River (LCR) Basin in Arizona. These claims are being used by the United States on behalf of the Tribes in the ongoing LCR Adjudication.
    Preparation of the federally reserved water rights claims for the Tribes involved several distinct studies. NRCE first performed hydrologic analysis to establish the natural flow of the LCR and ungaged tributaries as well as the sediment yields of various sub-basins. Agricultural depletions were determined.  This work not only provided estimates of historic depletions but also determined present and future irrigation water requirements in the LCR Basin. In addition, NRCE evaluated non-agricultural water requirements in the watershed, including domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, cultural, and recreational water uses.
    To help determine the Tribes’ future water claims, NRCE performed feasibility-level engineering design and cost estimation of several irrigation projects in the LCR Basin.  Components of the irrigation projects include a diversion dam, canals, storage reservoirs, pumping stations, groundwater wells, and water distribution systems. The design of these facilities required supplementary studies such as demand forecasting, water allocation modeling, and hydraulic analysis.
    NRCE has also assisted the United States to evaluate the water rights claims of other parties in the LCR Basin Adjudication. This evaluation consisted of a water use analysis of several irrigation companies in the Silver Creek sub-watershed.

Return to Service:  Water Rights