In a case regarding the relative rights of competing interests in Colorado River water, the
Court examined the intent of Congress and the President when they established the
reservations of tribes along the River.
The Court concluded that Congress and the President meant to reserve sufficient water to
make the tribes’ land habitable and productive, and that the tribes’ water rights were
reserved at the time when they created these reservations.
Competing parties argued that the Indian tribes only had a right to as much water as their
then relatively smaller populations required for their own personal uses.
The Court held, however, that the tribes had a right to enough water to irrigate as much of
their acreage as was "practicably irrigable.”
Arizona v California, 373 U.S. 546 (1963).
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and are not to be construed as legal advice.