Navajos to build portion of major water pipeline

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) October 2012

The Navajo Nation and the U.S. Department of the Interior have reached a financial agreement to have the tribe build 43 miles of a major water pipeline.

The 280-mile, $1 billion Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project will serve Navajo communities in New Mexico and Arizona, the city of Gallup and parts of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in northern New Mexico.

Federal officials announced an agreement to provide the Navajo Nation with $43 million to design and build a portion of the pipeline along U.S. 550 south of Farmington, N.M., a pumping station and four storage tanks.

Water delivery could begin in 2015. The entire project will take longer to complete.

Federal legislation passed in 2009 settled the Navajo water claims in the San Juan River basin and authorized the pipeline.