Ninth Circuit Briefs in Navajo Nation Trust Breach Appeal re: Water Rights

Here are the briefs in Navajo Nation v. United States:

Lower court materials here.

Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims

Draft agenda here.

The Native American Rights Fund and Western States Water Council will hold their 2019 Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims August 13-15 at Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Funner, Calif.  Registration and information, including a draft agenda, can be found here.

Tenth Circuit Rejects Individual Water Rights in Nambé-Pojoaque-Tesuque Basin General Stream Adjudication

Here are the materials in State of New Mexico v. United States:

CA10 Opinion


Joint Pueblo Brief

New Mexico Brief

New Mexico Jurisdiction Brief

Trujillo Brief

Trujillo Jurisdiction Brief

Trujillo Response to Pueblo Brief

Ninth Circuit Briefs in San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell


Federal Opening Brief

Hoopa Opening Brief

Yurok Opening Brief

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Opening Brief

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Response Brief

California Amicus Brief

Federal Response Brief

Hoopa Response Brief

Fishermen’s Brief

Yurok Response Brief

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Reply

Lower courts materials here.

Navajo Water Rights Attorney Job Postings

Water Rights Attorney Vacancy Announcement


The Navajo Nation Department of Justice – Water Rights Unit seeks two attorneys. Under the supervision of the Assistant Attorney General, attorneys in the Unit represent the Nation in multiple water rights adjudications pending in state and federal courts, and in state administrative water rights matters; engagein negotiations to resolve the Nation’s water rights claims by settlement; and perform work necessary both to secure approval of negotiated settlements at the tribal, state and federal level and to implement Congressionally-approved water rights settlements. Attorneys are assigned tasks commensurate with their level of experience. 


Attorneys in the Water Rights Unit regularly brief and advise the Navajo Nation government, including the Attorney General, the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, the Navajo Nation Council and its Committees, the Office of the President and Vice President, and the Navajo Nation Washington Office on water rights matters.   Attorneys also assist the Water Rights Commission in efforts to educate the Navajo public about water rights matters and work closely with the Nation’s technical staff in the Department of Water Resources.  Attorneys may work on general Navajo Nation legal issues as assigned.



• Juris Doctorate
• Current admission to practice in anstate. Candidates not admitted to practice within the Navajo Nation, or to the state bar of one of the states in which the Nation is located (i.e., Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah) must secure such licenses within one (1) year of hire as a condition of continued employment.



• Juris Doctorate and active license to practice law in Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah and the Navajo Nation.
• Experience in the fields of Indian Law and Water Law.


A successful applicant may be classified, depending upon experience, as an Attorney, Senior Attorney or Principal Attorney, with a starting salary range between $63,356 and $106,225.60.  The Navajo Nation offers a generous benefits package.  The Navajo Nation employment application form is available through the Navajo Nation Department of Personnel Management at  Please submityour application, together with evidence of bar membership, law school transcript and a writing sample to Stanley Pollack, Assistant Attorney General, at or by mail at P.O. Drawer 2010, Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ) 86515.  Mr. Pollack may also be reached at 928.871.7510 should you have questions about this position.


The Navajo Nation Department of Justice complies with the Navajo Preference in Employment Act.  The positions will remain open until filled.  

New Scholarship on Jicarilla Apache Nation’s Water a Rights Brokering


The Promise of Indian Water Leasing: An Examination of One Tribe’s Success at Brokering Its Surplus Water Rights
Justin Nyberg 181

After reaching water rights settlements, a number of Native American tribes find themselves with rights to more water than their reservations or pueblo communities presently need. As climate change exacerbates drought conditions in the western United States and demand for water increases, some tribes have leased these surplus water rights to public and private, non-Indian, users. Theoretically, this could be a boon for tribes, although the extent of the economic impact of water leasing is difficult to assess without an examination of each individual water lease. This paper attempts to illustrate the economic impact of Indian water rights leasing anecdotally, by examining the leasing efforts of one particularly successful tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation in northern New Mexico.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Interior and Lower Klamath River Tribes in Water Dispute

Here are the materials in San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell (E.D. Cal.):

95 First Amended Complaint

113 Water Districts Motion for Summary J

116 Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman Opposition

118 Hoopa Opposition

119 Yurok Opposition

120-1 US Opposition

122 California Amicus Opposition

125 Water Districts Reply

132 Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen Reply

133 Hoopa Reply

134 Yurok Reply

135 US Reply 

175 DCT Order

News coverage here: “Judge won’t stop emergency water releases helping Klamath Basin salmon.”

UPDATE 10/8/14:

181 DCT Order on Cross Motions for Summary J