G-80 Water Rights Settlement Agreement
In 1981, Gallup filed Application No. G-80 and SJ-1491 to appropriate 5,600 acre-feet per year (AFY) of groundwater, which water is intended to be produced from the Dakota Sandstone and/or Westwater Canyon Member of the Morrison Formation. At the same time, the City submitted City Application No. G-79 to appropriate 2,000 AFY of groundwater, which water is intended to be produced from the Entrada Sandstone. Both the Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs protested the application shortly thereafter.
As part of the G-22 Application and Settlement Agreements, the City has withdrawn the G-79 water rights application. However, the G-80 water rights application and its protests were never withdrawn.
As part of its efforts to supply drinking water to its residents, the Navajo Nation met with City Staff and inquired as to the possibility of purchasing ground water for its residents prior to the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project (NGWSP) being completed in 2024. In response to this development, the City and Navajo Nation have agreed to providing groundwater from the City’s Regional System to the Navajo Nation via a set of agreements already in place. The Navajo Nation then agreed to examine the potential to drop their protest of the G-80 water rights application.
Over the past several months, attorneys representing the City and Navajo Nation have negotiated the attached agreement. The terms of the agreement are based upon those listed in the G-22 Water Rights Settlement Agreement approved by both the City and the Navajo Nation.
With an executed settlement agreement, the last protestant would be the BIA, which is currently considering withdrawing its protest.
Approval of the G-80 water rights application would remove existing administrative caps on water produced from existing City wells, thereby eliminating any capital costs associated with drilling and developing new wells, as well as ensure a long-term water supply for the City.
- Fiscal Impact:
- No fiscal impact at this time. If it becomes necessary to present a case before the Office of the State Engineer during the hearing process, the Water and Sanitation Department will return to City Council to request funding for that task.
- Staff recommends approval of G-80 Water Rights Settlement Agreement
- Speaker's Name
- Dennis Romero