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Colorado Water Users Association Elects First American Indian President

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On December 15, the Colorado River Water Users Association (CRWUA) announced George Arthur, Navajo, will take the reins of the organization that advocates for all the users of the Colorado River – a first in the 66-year history of the association.

CRWUA represents a variety of groups and their specific water interests, ranging from water management organizations, Indian tribes, governmental entities, power companies, and environmental groups, all in an effort to work together for the future of the Colorado River.

CRWUA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that covers the seven basin states and the Ten Tribes Partnership and essentially controls the water for 35 million users and supplies a majority of the power for the southwest states.

The Partnership is made up of 10 tribes occupying reservations that have a vested interest in the Colorado River. These tribes are: the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, the Cocopah Indian Community, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the Northern Ute Tribe, the Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe—all of which have the senior water rights on the river according to the CRWUA.

Arthur has been the chairman of the Ten Tribes Partnership for six years. The Partnership joined the CRWUA in 1996. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to use the water and care for the resource to ensure future generations are not faced with the challenges we have today. As the president of CRWUA it will be my duty to safeguard the interests of all who use the Colorado River,” stated Arthur.

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“The Colorado River is faced with a myriad of complexities and I will look to my CRWUA colleagues for support and guidance. Additionally, I look forward to working with the CRWUA states and members to raise awareness about tribal issues in and related to the basin,” added Arthur.

Other appointments to the CRWUA include:

  • David Moodeer of the Central Arizona Project as vice president
  • Darryl Vigil, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, as secretary/treasurer
  • Mitch Bishop of the Southern Nevada Water Authority as assistant secretary

“It’s been a long time coming and I’m happy to see this day that marks the accession of the Ten Tribes Partnership to the leadership of CRWUA. Fifteen years ago, the CRWUA Board of Trustees took the position that tribes were a stakeholder and belonged on the Board. The CRWUA Board of Trustees will support George Arthur and the Ten Tribes Partnership in every way to succeed in this effort,” stated John Zebre, CRWUA’s outgoing President from Wyoming.

For more information about CRWUA, please visit