The Colorado River Basin is home to 30 federally recognized Tribes. Each Tribe has a unique history and relationship with the Basin, and variously depend on the waters of the Colorado River and its tributaries for a variety of purposes, including cultural and religious activities, domestic, irrigation, commercial, municipal and industrial, power generation, recreation, instream flows, wildlife, and habitat restoration.
Twenty-two Tribes have recognized rights to use 3.2 million-acre feet of Colorado River system water annually, or approximately 22 to 26 percent of the Basin’s average annual water supply. In addition, 12 Tribes have unresolved water rights claims, which will likely increase the overall volume of tribal water rights in the Basin.
Currently, many tribes are not fully using their recognized rights for several reasons, including lack of necessary infrastructure and funding; antiquated and inefficient delivery systems; and constraints on off-reservation use. Meanwhile, existing uses of Basin water already exceed reliable supplies.
30 Tribes of the Colorado River Basin
Listed in alphabetical order.