The ongoing drought in the West means more water is being drawn from underground, some say at an alarming rate.
Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project Approved
The first major step toward providing drinking water to tribal and rural communities along the Arizona-New Mexico border was approved Tuesday. The federal government announced a $20 million contract to begin construction of a 280 mile pipeline.
The Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project will provide a reliable water supply from the San Juan River to the eastern Navajo nation, Gallup New Mexico and other tribal communities.
According to the Bureau of Reclamation, over 40 percent of Navajo nation households must haul water to meet daily needs. Ground water levels for the city of Gallup have dropped 200 feet over the last 10 years.
The proposed federal budget for the next fiscal year calls for another $80 million for the pipeline project. When completed in 2024 the pipeline should be able to provide clean water to 250,000 people.