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Leslie Sanchez

School: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Department: Agriculture, Food and Environment

Event Presentation: Native Waters on Arid Lands Summit

Location: Reno, Nevada


Leslie used the TIE Travel Grant to present research on Native American water rights at the Native Waters Arid Lands Summit in Reno, NV. Along with her advisor Dr. Eric Edwards (North Carolina State University), Leslie discussed the potential to address issues of water scarcity and insecurity on reservations through stronger water right institutions. Reservation farmers are often vulnerable to drought because incomplete, or unquantified, water rights leave them last in line to access water during shortages. Leslie presented results of a study that identifies catalysts of when and where Native American tribes opt to legally define their water rights, and how bargaining for solutions with other water users within a basin may increase a tribe's water security. The presentation included a facilitated discussion with members of indigenous communities across the West to link our study's aggregate economic findings to on-the-ground experiences.