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Major tribal water delivery project nears completion

Tribal and federal officials recently gathered an event celebrating the transfer of operation, maintenance and replacement responsibilities of the Bureau of Reclamation-owned reaches of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project to the Navajo Nation and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.
U.S. Department of the Interior
Tribal and federal officials recently gathered an event celebrating the transfer of operation, maintenance and replacement responsibilities of the Bureau of Reclamation-owned reaches of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project to the Navajo Nation and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

The U.S. Interior Department says significant progress has been made on a major project designed to bring drinking water to 1,500 homes on tribal lands in western New Mexico.

The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project includes 300 miles of pipeline, two water treatment plants and other infrastructure and will serve 43 chapters on the Navajo Nation along with parts of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and the City of Gallup.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority will be responsible for its operation and maintenance.

The project is part of a major water rights settlement between the Navajo Nation and federal government. It’s expected to be completed in 2029 and $123 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was earmarked this year for its construction.

Another major portion of the project was completed last year.

Approximately a third of Navajo residents don’t have indoor plumbing in their homes and are forced to haul water.