Reclamation Awards Contract for Repair of Burnham Lateral near Farmington, New Mexico

Media Contact: Doug Hendrix, (801) 524-3837

For Release: October 02, 2008

On Monday, September 29, 2008, the Bureau of Reclamation awarded a contract in the amount of $6.29 million to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe's Weeminuche Construction Authority (WCA) of Towaoc, Colo., for repair and modification of the Burnham Lateral - Reach 1 - Canal operated by the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP).

"Repairs to the Navajo Nation's existing water conveyance facilities will foster continued development of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and benefit future generations of water users," said Reclamation Commissioner Robert W. Johnson.

Work to be performed under the contract will include: excavation and disposal of concrete lining from the existing canal embankment; construction of new embankments and installation of reinforced concrete lining; and, sealing of cracks in the existing canal lining. Reclamation anticipates rehabilitation work performed under this contract to be completed in summer of 2009. The canal improvements will occur along the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project's Burnham Lateral which is located approximately 18 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico in San Juan County.

The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) is one of the largest Native American owned and operated agricultural enterprises in the United States. In the early 1960's the United States Congress authorized the construction of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP), enacted by Public Law (87-483), to provide a water delivery system from the Navajo Dam reservoir to 110,630 acres of irrigable land. The statute includes an annual diversion right of 508,000 acre feet of water to irrigate these acres.

Reclamation has lead responsibility for the design and construction of NIIP irrigation facilities through the turnouts at the individual farm units. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in cooperation with the Navajo Nation, is responsible for developing the farm units, farm distribution systems, drainage, and farm-to-market roads. The Navajo Nation established the NAPI to farm the project.

WCA is a minority commercial construction company owned and operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. WCA has extensive experience in all phases of construction and related engineering disciplines, including: oil and gas field construction, residential and commercial buildings, heavy construction, road building, canals and water systems, sand and gravel, and municipal improvements.

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