2023 Articles

Ten Tribes Partnership

The Colorado River Basin Tribes Partnership, also known as the Ten Tribes Partnership (Partnership), is an organization formed in 1992 by 10 federally recognized tribes with reserved water rights in the Colorado River Basin.

The member tribes are: Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Navajo Nation, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Quechan Indian Tribe and Cocopah Indian Tribe. These tribes formed the Partnership for the purpose of strengthening tribal influence among the seven Basin States over the management and utilization of Colorado River water resources.

The Partnership assists member tribes in the development and protection of tribal water resources and addresses technical, legal, economic and practical issues related to the management and operation of the Colorado River. The Partnership formally joined the Colorado River Water Users Association in 1996 with the goal of actively participating with the seven Basin States in negotiations relating to the Colorado River.

In 2018, the Partnership, along with Reclamation, completed the Tribal Water Study, which included information regarding each Partnership tribe’s water rights, current water uses, future demands and likely impacts to the system of future development of tribal water. As documented in the Tribal Water Study, Partnership tribes collectively have water rights in the Upper and Lower Basin to roughly 20% of the mainstream flow. Read more about the Ten Tribes Partnership in the CRWUA Annual Report.