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Establishes that when the federal government created the Indian reservations, water rights were reserved in sufficient quantity to meet the purposes for which the reservation was established.
An Indian Reservation may reserve water for future use in an amount necessary to fufill the purpose of the reservation, with a priority dating from the treaty that established the reservation.
Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908).
Winters Doctrine Applied:
Courts have held that Indian tribes have "reserved" rights in all waters that arise on, border, traverse, or underlie their reservations.
Homelands without an adequate water supply are essentially worthless.
The Seminole Water Rights Compact effectuated a settlement agreement that effectively terminated litigation between the Tribe, the State of Florida, and the South Florida Water Management District. Congress approved the Compact when it passed Seminole Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1987. The Compact, which served as the vehicle recognizing and defining federal water rights for the Tribe, was the first of its kind in an eastern riparian state. The Compact promotes cooperation among the State and Tribe when dealing with natural resources and the environment.
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