Mountain West tribes receive federal funds to secure reliable water supplies
The federal government is spending another $327 million to help fulfill water rights settlements with Native American tribes, including several in the Mountain West.
The money, which comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Reclamation Water Settlements Fund, will be used to create reliable water supplies for tribes, according to the Department of the Interior.
More than $160 million will fund a pipeline serving 43 Navajo chapters, the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup, New Mexico.
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren spoke about the importance of the project at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting this year.
“About 30% of the Navajo households continue to lack running water. They rely on hauling water to meet their daily needs,” Nygren said. “This region has long suffered from limited access to clean and reliable water.”
The 300-mile pipeline project would provide just that to a quarter-million people, he added.
Elsewhere in New Mexico, the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque will receive $69 million to build a regional water system supplying treated water to Pueblo and non-Pueblo members.
In other parts of the Mountain West, $6 million is going to the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho and the Southern Ute Tribe in Colorado is getting $3.4 million.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The photo included in this story is licensed under Wikimedia Commons.