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Hopi lawmakers vote on water rights legislation

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Hopi lawmakers have voted to oppose legislation in Congress to settle the tribe’s water claims in the Little Colorado River basin.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl introduced the bill earlier this year, but it cannot move forward without the blessing of the Hopis and their Navajo neighbors.

Under the settlement, the federal government would pay to pipe groundwater to Hopi communities if the tribe waives further claims to the river system.

Hopi lawmakers took the vote Friday, but it’s unclear whether it represents the final stance of the tribe. Supporters of the settlement said Monday that they’re reviewing the resolution.

About 30 other entities are awaiting the Hopi and Navajo decisions.

Kyl has said the settlement addresses water needs on the reservations and provides certainty of the water supply for off-reservation communities.

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