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Water Law
American Indian
Shiprock, New Mexico: The Navajo Nation — which spans a 70,000-square-kilometer stretch of mesa, sand, and canyons in parts of New Mexico, Utah, and northern Arizona — is the largest and, arguably, the driest American Indian reservation in the United States.

The largest reservation in the U.S. has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates — more than 40 percent — and very little water infrastructure. Many residents pay nearly 50 times the municipal cost for water, which instead is delivered from a tank in the back of a truck, often resulting in water-borne intestinal illnesses.

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Wild rice on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin is in the floating leaf stage by early June, with a single shoot lying on the water’s surface. This is considered one of the most critical—and and dangerous—stages in the rice’s life cycle. The plants are just beginning to change physiologically from exchanging gases with the water column to exchanging gases with the air. Therefore, they are very susceptible to heavy rains and flooding events that can either rip out the young plants by the roots, or drown them. June 6, 2011.

For generations, the upper Great Lakes region has boasted harvests of wild rice, growing in Lake Superior and other watersheds within the basin. But disease, dams, and climate change are now endangering the uncultivated bounty.

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pipes
The U.S. government is looking to get tribal homes on a par with the rest of the nation through a $90 million stimulus package for water and sanitation access.

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