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Navajo Nation Funds Water Projects

Darlene Arviso
Laurel Morales
Darlene Arviso is much more than the water lady. She also delivers food, firewood and just about anything people need from the nearby Catholic mission.

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Navajo Nation Funds Water Projects

Navajo Nation Funds Water Projects

Laurel Morales

Darlene Arviso is much more than the water lady. She also delivers food, firewood and just about anything people need from the nearby Catholic mission.

The Navajo Nation president approved legislation this week to fund dozens of water and sanitation projects across the reservation. Thousands of Navajos currently haul water from many miles away.

Two years ago, the Navajo Nation received the biggest settlement the federal government ever agreed to pay a single Native American tribe — $554 million. Since then, the tribe has held several community forums to discuss how it should be spent — roads, education, economic development, water. The tribe decided to pursue two items on its list —drinking water and job creation.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the tribe will spend $180 million on the projects.

“They’re getting excited saying finally after years of waiting and being told often times,‘We’ll do it. We’ll do it. We’ll help you we’ll get water to you’ and nothing has ever transpired,” he said.

President Begaye said the tribe will hire Navajo contractors to build the water and sanitation infrastructure.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.