Thursday News Roundup: Tribes, Feds Partner On Colorado River Water Study

Sep 19, 2013

Tribes, Feds Partner On Colorado River Water Study - Associated Press

The federal government has pledged to work with American Indian tribes in the Colorado River basin to address projected shortages of water.

A group of 10 tribes from around the West and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation signed an agreement Wednesday to study tribal water resources. The agency provided $100,000 to initiate the study that is expected to be complete by December 2015.

The Interior Department's assistant secretary for water and science, Ann Castle, says it's important to collaborate with groups that have a vested interest in the river.

A 1922 river compact recognizes tribal water rights, but not all of the tribes in the basin have settled potentially huge claims.

Meanwhile, federal managers have given Arizona and Nevada a 50-50 chance of having water deliveries cut in 2016.

New Mexico Airports Getting $7M In Federal Grants - Associated Press

The federal government has approved grants of more than $7 million to improve taxiways at airports in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall announced the grants from a Federal Aviation Administration program for improving airports across the country.

The Albuquerque International Sunport will receive $5 million to rehabilitate one of its taxiways that aircraft use for moving to and from a runway.

Santa Fe's municipal airport is in line for $2.5 million to build a new taxiway. Commercial airline service restarted in Santa Fe in 2009.

Suspicious Box Forces Evacuation In Window Rock - Associated Press

About 300 people were evacuated from a Window Rock building Wednesday as authorities checked out a suspicious package that turned out to be computer hardware.

The building houses staff from the tribal prosecutor's office, the district court, the police department and inmates held on misdemeanor charges.

Corrections Lt. Ophelia Begay says the inmates that included 12 men and three women were transported to a detention center in Chinle. She says women have since returned.

Zah says the package that was the size of a shoebox had been wrapped in duct tape. It did not have any address labels.

He says a second package at another location quickly was determined to be non-explosive.

Federal, state, county and tribal officials helped secure the area and investigate the packages.