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A new investigation shows Arizona makes it uniquely hard for tribes to get water

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

For years, the Navajo Nation has been locked in contentious negotiations with the state of Arizona over water. With unreliable groundwater in much of the state, tribes often have to turn to outside sources for water. And the drawn-out negotiations to get it have left wells and water tanks for tribal communities empty, farms and businesses delayed. 

Now, a new investigation from ProPublica and High Country News shows Arizona is unique in its efforts to delay access and extract concessions from many tribes in the region in these water negotiations. 

Umar Farooq is one of the reporters on the story and The Show spoke with him more about it, beginning with the Dilkon Medical Center — a $128 million facility that is sitting empty on the Navajo Nation because there’s not enough clean water available to open it. 

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.