Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Design/Construction Startup Funded
Sections of the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup, New Mexico have been rapidly depleting groundwater supplies, which are of poor quality and inadequate to meet current and future demands. In September, a $43 million financial assistance agreement for design and construction of a portion of the historic Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project was signed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly with the hopes of providing a long-term, sustainable water supply. This project will have the capacity to deliver clean running water to a potential future population of approximately 250,000.
The water will be diverted from the San Juan River and travel through 280 miles of pipeline, several pumping stations, and two water treatment plants. Navajo President Ben Shelly said “We are going to bring safe drinking water to thousands of Navajo families. We are also going to create more than 600 jobs for our people.” Construction started in June and water is expected to start flowing in two to three years for the reaches in this agreement. This project is designated as one of 14 high-priority infrastructure projects around the country identified by the Obama Administration that will be expedited through the permitting and environmental review process in an effort to improve the efficiency of federal reviews and more quickly move projects from the drawing board to completion.