US Climate and Health Alliance

Climate Change and Water Resources


For many indigenous peoples of the United States, water is not just a physical necessity; it is sacred, and essential to many cultural traditions. In the early 1800s, in an effort to protect access to this vital resource, many tribes secured water rights in treaties with the United States government for water found on tribal lands. Despite this, many tribal water resources have been exploited by industry, ranchers, farmers, and communities, creating water shortages and leading many tribes to file legal claims in an effort to reassert their rights. Additionally, poor land and water resource management practices have led to the degradation of many water resources that are vital to tribes. Climate change is likely to have a variety of impacts on both freshwater and oceanic water resources that could further threaten tribal economies, traditions, and subsistence activities.

Resource Type
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Resource URL
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Organization Type
Climate and Environmental Impacts
Oceans Sea level rise Water

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