Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Planning Report and
Draft Environmental Impact Statement
A long-term sustainable water supply is needed for the area to support current and future populations. The proposed project would be designed to serve a future population of approximately 250,000 people by the year 2040. Existing groundwater supplies are dwindling, have limited capacity, and are of poor quality. More than 40 percent of Navajo households rely on water hauling to meet daily water needs. The city of Gallup’s groundwater levels have dropped approximately 200 feet over the past 10 years, and the supply is not expected to meet current water demands within the decade. The Jicarilla Apache people are currently not able to live and work outside the Town of Dulce on the reservation because of a lack of water supply.
The proposed project would convey a reliable M&I water supply to the eastern section of the Navajo Nation, the southwestern part of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup via diversions from the San Juan River in northern New Mexico. The Navajo Nation, city of Gallup, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation are part of the project Steering Committee that assisted in preparation of portions of this document.
Navajo Nation communities and the city of Gallup rely on a rapidly depleting groundwater supply that is inadequate to meet present needs and anticipated growth. Other water sources are needed to meet current and future M&I demands of more than 43 Navajo chapters, including the communities of Fort Defiance and Window Rock in Arizona, the city of Gallup, and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
The proposed project would deplete approximately 35,893 acre–feet of water annually from the San Juan River (Navajo Nation – 27,193 acre-feet, Jicarilla Apache Nation – 1,200 acre-feet, city of Gallup – 7,500 acre-feet). Based on the expected populations in the year 2040, the proposed project would serve approximately 203,000 people in 43 chapters in the Navajo Nation, 1,300 people in the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and approximately 47,000 people in the city of Gallup.