Water Reallocation by Settlement: Who Wins, Who Loses, Who Pays?


The 2004 Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA) is the current standard for what a comprehensive, negotiated settlement can achieve in terms of water rights reallocation, water resource management, and water supply reliability enhancement. This note reviews the flows of money and water specified in Titles I and II of the AWSA to identify the signatory and non-signatory parties that benefit from the settlement and the allocation of costs between the various parties to the agreement. Opportunity costs are also considered. Innovative elements of the agreement are discussed particularly those that improve water supply reliability for the Gila River Indian Community and third parties. The central roles of water resource management tools and market mechanisms in the AWSA are also discussed.


Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law | Water Law

Date of this Version

July 2006