House panel considers draft of Pechanga Band water rights bill

A view of the Temecula Valley, the home of the Luiseno people. Photo from Destination Temecula

A bill to settle the water rights of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is up for discussion on Capitol Hill this week.

The House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Thursday on a discussion draft of the settlement. A bill hasn't actually been introduced in the House at this point and prior versions have not cleared Congress despite years of lobbying by the southern California tribe.

On the Senate side, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved S.1983, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act, at a business meeting on February 3. The committee did not hold a hearing on the bill but a prior version received a hearing during the 113th Congress.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: Senate Indian Affairs Committee Business Meeting February 3, 2016

A settlement would confirm the tribe's rights to 4,994 acre-feet of water per year in the Santa Margarita watershed. Both S.1983 and the draft discussion appropriate about $28.5 million to carry out the deal.

The hearing takes place at 10:30am in Room 1334 of the Longworth House Office Building. A witness list hasn't been posted online.

House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Notice:
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 5032, H.R. 5430, H.R. 5468 and Discussion Draft (June 23, 2016)

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