Native American Water Resources
Native American Water Resources Program, created by the Governor in 1995, is aimed at promoting a spirit of coordination, communication, and good will between Tribal and state governments as separate sovereignties. Under Governor Bill Richardson's administration, a statement of policy and process was signed with the 19 New Mexico Pueblos to work in good faith to amicably and fairly resolve issues and differences in a government-to-government relationship. This policy and process also extends to other Tribes and Nations within New Mexico.
Rights to water on Indian grant lands and reservations in New Mexico fall within one or a combination of three different doctrines:
1. Pueblo historic use water rights
2. Federal reserve water rights
3. Water rights established under the laws of the State of New Meixco.
Water rights administration, litigation and negotiation leading to a settlement of rights to water is exceedingly complex when Native American water rights are involved.