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Aamodt Water Rights Settlement

The Aamodt Water Rights Settlement Agreement was developed through multi-party negotiations begun in 2000 between the Pueblos of Nambé, Pojoaque, Tesuque and San Ildefonso, the State of New Mexico, the United States of America, the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County and representatives of non-Pueblo water users to settle the Pueblos’ water right claims in the Pojoaque Basin.  An initial Settlement Agreement was signed in February 2006, and following the passage of the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act on December 8, 2010, Pub.L. No. 111-291, 124 Stat. 3064, 3134-3156, a final Settlement Agreement (conformed to include provisions of the Act) was signed by all parties, including the United States in its trust capacity, in March 2013.  

In exchange for the Pueblos agreeing not to make priority calls against non-Pueblo users under most circumstances, the Settlement Agreement provides that the United States will acquire 2,500 acre-feet of imported water per year in the basin for use by the Pueblos.  The Settlement Agreement further provides for the funding and construction of a Regional Water System to supply treated water to Pueblo and non-Pueblo parties.  Santa Fe County is responsible for acquiring 750 acre-feet per year of imported water for the benefit of non-Pueblo users, for a total supply of 1,500 acre-feet per year for use by non-Pueblo water users in the basin. Connecting to the Regional Water System will be optional.

Settlement Agreement and Related Documents. 

Click on the Open Icon to view available attachments/documents pertaining to the settlement.

Order to Show Cause and Forms 

Below you will find links to the Court’s Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proceeding to Approve Settlement and the forms mailed with it, as well as a Spanish language version of the Court’s Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proceeding to Approve Settlement. 

In December 2013 the Court commenced an expedited inter se proceeding to determine whether to approve the Settlement Agreement and enter the proposed Partial Final Judgment and Decree on Pueblos’ Water Rights according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement. It entered an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proceeding to Approve Settlement which in January 2014 was published and also served by mail on almost 6,000 persons who may have claims to water rights in the Pojoaque Basin. The Order to Show Cause requires that all water right claimants in the Pojoaque Basin be given the opportunity to review the Settlement Agreement and the proposed determination of the Pueblos’ water rights and decide whether to accept or object to the Settlement Agreement and to the proposed Partial Final Judgment and Decree on Pueblos’ Water Rights. The deadline for filing an Acceptance or an Objection form with the Court is April 7, 2014.

Public Meetings and Additional Information

Two public meetings will be held in February to provide information and answer questions regarding the Settlement Agreement and the Court proceeding.  The first will be Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Pojoaque Middle School Auditorium, and the second will be Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Tesuque Elementary School Gym.

Additional information about the Settlement Agreement and the Court proceeding may be obtained from the Joe M. Stell Water Ombudsman Program at the Utton Transboundary Center of the University of New Mexico School of Law.  You may call the toll-free Water Adjudication Helpline at 1-877-775-8333 or directly at (505)-277-0551.  Leave your name, phone number, and question.  They will attempt to call you back by the next business day. 

Below you will find links to documents providing additional information about the Aamodt Settlement Agreement.