The Aamodt water rights adjudication of the Nambe-Pojoaque-Tesuque stream system (N-P-T) is one of the longest running federal cases in the United States. Decades of litigation, followed by several years of negotiations have led to a Settlement Agreement which will resolve previously intractable issues in the lawsuit, and provide a path and a deadline for concluding the litigation. Federal legislation approving the Settlement Agreement was enacted into law on December 8, 2010, when President Barack Obama signed the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Title VI of which is the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act (hereafter “Settlement Act”). However, several tasks remain to be completed, including conforming the Settlement Agreement to the Settlement Act, moving the Court for approval of the Settlement Agreement and entry of a Partial Final Decree on the Pueblos’ water rights, before the Settlement Agreement is implemented and a final decree is entered ending the case.
Through the mechanisms outlined in the Settlement Agreement, as well as a settlement project which will bring imported water by pipeline into the N-P-T from the Rio Grande, thereby making the hydrological pie there bigger, the Settlement Agreement seeks to lessen impacts to the aquifer over time. It will also protect existing uses and provide reliability of supply and greater certainty regarding use of water in a chronically water-short basin.
A copy of the Aamodt Settlement Agreement and the Settlement Act are available from the links below, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Please also direct any further questions regarding the Aamodt Settlement to Lela Hunt at: email@example.com.