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Zuni River Basin Water Rights Adjudication
New Mexico

In the matter of United States vs. A&R Productions, et. al.
Case #01cv00072 MV/LFG

Overview of Adjudication Process

The United States filed this lawsuit in 2001 to adjudicate all surface and underground water rights in the Zuni River stream system. The State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer (the “State”), the Zuni Indian Tribe, and the Navajo Nation are also plaintiffs in the case. By law, all other persons who may claim a right to the use of water must be made parties defendant to such a suit. A water adjudication is a legal proceeding in which the Court hears and decides all water rights claims in the stream system, and confirms any valid water rights, whether claimed by a plaintiff or defendant, by court order.

The United States, in consultation with the State of New Mexico, is completing a hydrographic survey of the Zuni River stream system. A hydrographic survey is a technical study that identifies, maps, and reports the use of water in a particular stream system. A hydrographic survey starts with aerial photography and a review of the existing water rights records for the area. Information on irrigation, domestic, municipal, industrial, and stock-water use is recorded. Land ownership is verified using information from county records. However, although a hydrographic survey gathers information on land ownership, it does not establish legal ownership to land or determine property boundaries. The survey only produces evidence on the location, amount, and ownership of water rights.

For purposes of the Hydrographic Survey, the Zuni River stream system has been divided into 10 sub-areas. As the Hydrographic Survey is completed for each sub-area, a Hydrographic Survey Report (“HSR”) and hydrographic survey maps for that area will be filed with the Court. Some of these filed HSRs may combine information concerning water uses in more than one sub-area.

For more detailed information about the adjudication process, please see the Special Master's Notice of Water Rights Adjudication.

The United States Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs makes every effort to ensure that all the technical data and information made available to the public through this web site are accurate, timely, and complete. Neither the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, nor the web site creator, however, assume any legal responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the information contained on this site. Persons using information from this site for official purposes or other purposes, for which accuracy, timeliness, and completeness are required, are hereby notified that they should first verify the information with the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, public records, or other primary sources from which the information was obtained.

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