CCT.ENR

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Environmental Trust mission is to achieve & maintain a healthy environment with functioning ecological systems including biodiversity, clean water, clean air and healthy soils required to support plants, animals, tribal values and subsistence uses.

Water Resources Use & Permitting

  • Process temporary and full-time water permits

  • Perform water permit and water rights investigations

  • Coordinate with State regarding boundary waters and state permitting issues

  • Create and maintain a water permit/water use data base

  • Perform water availability and need studies for reservation watersheds

  • Regulate and permit on-site waste water systems

Examples of uncapped well and illegal diversions.

 

CHAPTER 4-10 WATER RESOURCES USE AND PERMITTING
 
 GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
4-10-1 Link  Declaration of Rights and Purpose
(a) In order to: promote the general welfare of the Colville Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
 
(“Colville Tribes” or “Tribes”); develop, manage, and preserve the waters and other resources of the Colville Reservation; facilitate the United States’ compliance with its trust duties to preserve and protect in perpetuity all waters reserved for the Colville Tribes and the Colville Reservation; provided for the exercise of the inherent sovereign power of self-government by the Colville Tribes, acting by and through the Colville Business Council, hereby asserts its prior, exclusive and supreme rights in, ownership of, and jurisdiction over, the waters of the Colville Reservation and lands held in trust off-Reservation for all jurisdiction over, the waters of the Colville Reservation and lands held in trust off-Reservation for all purposes.
 
(b) The Colville Tribes hereby affirms that the water resources of the Colville Reservation and the Colville Tribes have been of fundamental importance to the Colville Tribes since time immemorial and must be preserved and protected in perpetuity for the best interest of the Colville Tribes. The Business Council finds that the rights and authorities of the Colville Tribes with respect to the water resources of the Colville Reservation are set forth in the decision in Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation v. Walton, 647 F. 2d 42 (9th Cir. 1981), and hereby enacts this comprehensive revision of this Chapter to facilitate the exercise of the Tribes’ authority and to protect and preserve the Tribes’ rights in water resources to the maximum extent permitted under tribal law and any federal law that may be applicable. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as acknowledging that the Walton case restricts the water rights or regulatory authority of the Colville Tribes in any way.
 
4-10-2 Link Nature of Ownership
(a) The Colville Tribes holds the full equitable title to the rights to the use of all of the water of the Colville Reservation.  The United States holds the legal title to those waters solely as trustee for the Colville Tribes.
 
(b) All rights to the use of the waters of the Colville Reservation are held by the Colville Tribes in perpetuity, for the use and benefit of the Colville Tribes, its members, other persons as authorized herein, and the lands and other resources of the Colville Reservation.   To the maximum extent permitted by federal law, no right or privilege of any kind, from whatever sources, shall be recognized or granted unless the same shall be subject to the overriding, prior and supreme right and interest of the Colville Tribes, and the policy and provisions contained in this Chapter, amendments hereto, and administrative regulations and determination hereunder.  No agent of the Colville Tribes, the Colville Business Council, or the United States shall take any action or grant to recognize any right affecting the water resources of the Colville Reservation that in any way infringe or threatens to infringe the prior and supreme rights and interests of the Colville Confederated Tribes.
 
4-10-3 Link  Application of Chapter
It shall be unlawful to divert or withdraw or otherwise make any use of, or take any action of whatever kind substantially affecting, the waters of the Colville Reservation unless the applicable provisions of this Chapter and regulations and determinations made hereunder have been complied with. To the maximum extent permitted by federal law, no water rights, from whatever source, shall be recognized, except rights obtained under and subject to this Chapter.
 
4-10-4 Link Waters of the Colville Indian Reservation Defined
The waters of the Colville Reservation consist of:
 
(a) All waters located upon or bordering the Colville Reservation, whether flowing or stationary, whether above or below the surface of the ground, whether above or below the surface of the ground; whether percolating or non-percolationg groundwater, whether subflow, tributary or non-tributary groundwater, whethergroundwater hydraulically connected with surface water, or whether groundwater hydraulically of hydrologically connected with surface water; or whether diffused or contained within a defines water course or water body of any kind;   
 
(b) All waters reserved at any time to the Colville Reservation by the United States or the Colville Tribes;    
(c) All waters which, in the course of nature or as the result of artificial works, flows into or otherwise enhances such waters;
 
(d) All precipitation and atmospheric water; and
 
(e) The Colville Reservation for purpose of this Chapter shall have the definition set forth in section
1-1-362 of this Chapter.
 
4-10-5 Link through 4-10-99 [RESERVED]