Federal Reserved Water Rights and Groundwater: Quantity, Quality, and Pore Space [February 8, 2018] [open pdf - 321KB]
"Tribal rights to groundwater have not been legally established to the same extent as rights to other natural resources (e.g., surface water, timber, minerals). A March 2017 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the rights of a California Indian tribe (the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians) to groundwater beneath the tribe's reservation in the Coachella Valley. In November 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision; the case now proceeds to other phases that may partially shape this ruling's significance. [...] This Insight explores three aspects of groundwater relevant to Agua Caliente: quantity, quality, and 'pore space.' The legal outcome may affect how groundwater is allocated among tribal and nontribal interests and may influence groundwater allocations at other federal reservations."
CRS Insight, IN10857
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html