Governor Bill Richardson said today that Senate passage of funding for Indian
Water Rights settlements is a major victory for New Mexico.
"I made resolving these water rights settlements a top priority for my administration, and I'm pleased to see the Senate approve federal funding," Governor Richardson said. "Senators Bingaman and Udall were instrumental in moving this funding through the Senate and helping to resolve these longstanding claims."
The U.S. Senate today approved legislation to settle the water rights claims of Taos Pueblo and the claims of the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque -- claims that have been in the courts for more than four decades.
The bill also provides funding to implement the settlements, and includes $180 million to implement the Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement that Congress enacted last year.
The three water rights settlements will receive more than $478 million.
The legislation approved today must now pass the House of Representatives before being sent to the President.