U.S. Water News Online
NAVAJO MOUNTAIN, Utah -- Trucks have been delivering water
to an isolated, mountainous American Indian community near the
Arizona border, and officials are worried that harsh weather could
arrive before a pipeline is repaired.
"We can't quite figure out what is causing (the pipeline) not to
work," said Rick Bailey, San Juan County administrator and director
of emergency services.
For five weeks, four trucks carrying more than 22,000 gallons of
water have made the 64-mile round trip to Navajo Mountain from
Shonto, Ariz. The cost -- $5,000 a day.
It is a steep, rugged area near the Arizona border, where 97
percent of the 1,200 residents are American Indians.
The water shortage is a "pretty serious problem for these people,"
said Roger Hansen, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in
The agency has been scrambling to get $75,000 to continue paying
for the water deliveries.
The problem began in August when heavy rain washed away soil that
covered the pipeline, which connects a spring to the town's water
The flood damaged about two dozen sections of water line. Despite
repairs, water still won't flow, Bailey said.
"Our problem is going to be if they can't get this pipeline fixed
and winter comes and it gets snowed in," he said.
The long-term solution is to build a pipeline stretching 30 miles
from Inscription, Ariz.
The federal government is willing to provide $3.4 million but not
until 2009. Navajo Mountain also would have to seek $400,000 in
Besides water trucks, Navajo Mountain also is getting water
donations from Wal-Mart and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
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