The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project is a major infrastructure project that once constructed, will convey a reliable municipal and industrial water supply from the San Juan River to the eastern section of the Navajo Nation, southwestern portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup, New Mexico via about 280 miles of pipeline, several pumping plants, and two water treatment plants.
These areas currently rely on a rapidly depleting groundwater supply that is of poor quality and inadequate to meet the current and future demands of more than 43 Navajo chapters, the city of Gallup, and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. Ground water levels for the city of Gallup have dropped approximately 200 feet over the past 10 years and over 40 percent of Navajo Nation households rely on hauling water to meet their daily needs. Inadequate water supply also impacts the ability of the Jicarilla Apache people to live and work outside the reservation town of Dulce.
The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project is designed to provide a long-term sustainable water supply to meet the future population needs of approximately 250,000 people in these communities by the year 2040 through the annual delivery of 37,764 acre-feet of water from the San Juan Basin. The project’s eastern branch will divert approximately 4,645 acre-feet of water annually with no return flow to the San Juan River. The project’s western branch will divert the remaining 33,119 acre-feet of water with an anticipated average annual return flow of 1,871 acre-feet.
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Title X Part III (Public Law 111-11) signed on March 30, 2009, provided the authorization to construct this important project as a major component of the Navajo Nation San Juan River Basin Water Rights Settlement in New Mexico. The act requires that all project features are completed no later than December 31, 2024.
On October 11, the Obama Administration announced the selection of 14 infrastructure projects to be expedited through the permitting and environmental review process including the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. The latest project status information can be accessed on the Priority Projects Dashboard site.