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Interior Secretary Approves Tribe’s Water Rights Deal

sally-jewellInterior Secretary Sally Jewell has given final approval to an agreement to fund a water delivery system for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

The agreement that resolves the tribe's claims to the Gila and Little Colorado rivers also allows cities in the Phoenix area to lease water that the tribe cannot immediately use. It is the last of four American Indian water rights settlements signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 to be executed. The legislation includes more than $200 million dollars for the water delivery system that will run from the reservations towns of White River to Cibecue. Another $79 million dollars will go to projects that include rehabilitating recreational lakes. Jewell was joined in Tuesday's signing ceremony by tribal Chairman Ronnie Lupe and the federal lawmakers who introduced the legislation.

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