Navajo president presses Congress for more time, money for pipeline
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren asked senators for more funding and time for a pipeline project that would supply water to a quarter of a million people across Arizona and New Mexico.
The project would deliver nearly 38,000 acre-feet of water annually from the San Juan River basin through 300 miles of pipeline to 43 Navajo chapters, the city of Gallup, New Mexico and parts of the Apache nation.
Nygren says the project has been hindered by engineering challenges, COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain issues as well as ongoing inflation.
Congress is considering a bill that would extend the agreement through 2029, which is when the Bureau of Reclamation expects the project to be finished. It would also up the budget cap by 150%.
The areas that would be served by the pipeline rely on groundwater with residents often forced to haul water from nearby cities.