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Expanding Navajo Water Access is an Exercise in Trust

February 9, 2021
Community-led partnerships are essential in bringing running water to the Navajo Nation's remote residents

For all Americans who live in the Colorado River Basin, water scarcity is nothing new. But for the Navajo, remote communities and unforgiving terrain have exacerbated an already-dire situation. Scattered across 27,000 square miles, the Navajo Nation itself is a large and diverse place, encompassing an area the size of West Virginia across three Southwestern states – Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

Many on the reservation are isolated from major water lines, making plumbing water to individual homes prohibitively expensive. For the 30% of homes in the Navajo Nation that have no running water, they rely instead on water hauled over long distances, drawn from potentially contaminated wells or expensive bottled water from grocery stores.

The Navajo Water Project works with Navajo communities to get running water into tribal homes. In each new community they support, the work is guided by a council of clients and local leaders from start to finish.

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