Arizona Supreme Court OKs water rights settlement

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld an historic settlement of decades-old lawsuits involving water-rights claims of the Gila River Indian Community.

The state high court on Friday unanimously affirmed a trial judge's approval of the 2004 settlement between the tribe, the federal and state governments as well as numerous irrigation districts and municipalities in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

The settlement provided the Gila River tribe with 653,500 acre-feet of water annually from various sources in exchange for resolving claims for additional water rights and compensation for damages.

Objections had been filed by a mining company, several Apache tribes, the town of Gila Bend and other interests.

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