July 13, 2023
Navajo Nation is asking for more time and money on the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project
The president of the Navajo Nation was in Washington this week, appealing to the US Senate for additional resources to complete a water pipeline project on the reservation.
Tribal Radio | By Clark Adomaitis
About 30% of Navajo Nation households have no running water. The Nation started working on a large water infrastructure project in 2009. The project connects the eastern part of the Navajo Nation with Gallup, New Mexico, and the San Juan River.
The tribe has used $870 million dollars in federal funding to build the pipeline. And while federal guidelines require completion next year, work is nowhere close to being done.
On Wednesday, Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren appealed to the US Senate for more money and more time.
This region has long suffered from limited access to clean and reliable water, resulting in immense hardship for our people.
Nygren said inflation, increases in water treatment costs, and the Covid-19 Pandemic are some of the causes for project shortfalls.
The areas to be served by the project currently rely on depleting groundwater supply that is poor quality and the existing supply is inadequate to meet the demands of more than 43 Navajo local governments, the city of Gallup, the TP junction at the Jicarilla Apache nation.
Nygren said the project needs another five years to be completed, and an additional 1.3 billion dollars in federal funding. The US Senate is currently considering a bill that will give the Navajo Nation these resources.
Reporting for KSUT and KSJD I'm Clark Adomaitis
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