Native American tribe, New Mexico ink water leasing deal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Native American tribe has agreed to lease more of its water to help address dwindling supplies in the Colorado River Basin.

The agreement announced Thursday involves the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and The Nature Conservancy.

Tribal water administrator Daryl Vigil highlighted the need for creative solutions as the drought-stricken basin faces more pressure. He described the agreement as a novel project that could serve as a model for other tribes.

In Arizona, some tribes have played an outsized role in shoring up water supplies as that state deals with mandatory cuts in its Colorado River allocation.