FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Federal, tribal and state officials in New Mexico have signed an agreement clarifying the regulatory roles and responsibilities, including drinking water regulations, for a proposed project on the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation, New Mexico Environment Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed the 15-page memorandum of understanding on multiple dates in March and April, The Farmington Daily Times reported Thursday.
“Drinking water jurisdiction across northwest New Mexico is incredibly complex, involving a mix of federal, state, tribal and private entities. The MOU clarifies government oversight and regulatory roles and responsibilities of the parties involved,” a joint statement said.
The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, which consists of about 280 miles (450 kilometers) of pipeline, pumping plants and two water treatment plants, is expected to be completed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2027. The project will deliver water from the San Juan River Basin in Gallup to 43 chapters on the Navajo Nation.
“With the signing of this MOU, we as current leaders, are moving forward together on the path to providing clean drinking water to thousands of Navajo people. Many families will soon have access to running water in their homes thanks to the work being done with our state and federal partners,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.