FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A trial over water rights is underway in one of the longest-running court cases in Arizona history that will impact most everyone in the northeastern corner of the state.
The case will determine who has the right to water from the Little Colorado River basin, from streams and washes to springs, impoundments and aquifers. The claims number in the thousands and likely exceed the water available.
The trial is expected to last years. Up first is the Hopi Tribe, which will spend the next couple of months outlining its past and present water use.
A judge has said the tribe has no rights to the river since it doesn't cross Hopi land or to water resources off the reservation, which is landlocked by the much-larger Navajo Nation. The Hopis are challenging that.