The installation phase for a pipeline that will bring drinking water to some of the Navajo Nation’s most remote communities is about to begin. Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.
Installation will start this spring on the Navajo Gallup Water project on the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. It’s the cornerstone of a 2005 water settlement between the tribe and the federal government over use of waters from the San Juan River. Pat Page is with the Bureau of Reclamation, which is managing the project.
"Ultimately, the project will bring water from the San Juan Basin down to numerous chapters on the Navajo Reservation…”
Page says when the 260 mile pipeline is finished it’ll serve about 250 thousand people living on the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations between Gallup, New Mexico and Window Rock, Arizona.
"Most of those areas, those communities, if they do have a water supply, it’s very limited and in some cases the quality is not good…”
Page says the pipeline is not expected to be complete for about 12 years. But, a temporary pipeline will be in place in less than 2 years in order to serve communities with the most immediate water needs. The total cost of the project is close to a billion dollars.
For Arizona Public Radio, I’m Gillian Ferris Kohl.