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Public Law 92-199 provided specific authority to conduct feasibility studies for the "Gallup Project, New Mexico" which culminated in a reconnaissance report in October 1973.
At the request of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, the Gallup water supply study be expanded to include municipal and domestic water supplies for various Navajo communities in the eastern portion of the Navajo Reservation.
A Planning Report and Draft Environmental Statement were released for public review and public hearings were conducted.
Reclamation prepared the "Gallup-Navajo Indian Water Supply Project, New Mexico-Arizona Technical Report" which evaluated five alternatives for providing water to Navajo communities and the city of Gallup.
Progress on the project stalled for a variety of reasons following a change in leadership for both the Navajo Nation and city of Gallup. Reclamation funding for project studies were suspended as a result.
Planning activities for the project resumed with write-in funding from Reclamation's general budget and cost share from project participants. Planning activities were directed by a steering committee chaired by the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments with representatives from the Navajo Nation, city of Gallup, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Reclamation. The Jicarilla Apache Nation later joined as a project participant.
Public scoping meetings were held in Crownpoint, Gallup, Shiprock, and Farmington, N.M., and Saint Michaels Ariz., in the spring to present the five viable project alternatives that had been developed.
A draft planning report/environmental impact statement containing the five viable alternatives was published and public meetings were held at the same five locations in May and June.
March: President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11) authorizing among other things, the construction of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project subject to the completion of several prerequisite agreements
June: The first Project Pre-Construction Committee meeting was held which included representatives of Reclamation, Navajo Nation, city of Gallup, Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the state of New Mexico
July: The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Final Environmnental Impact Statement/Planning Report was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency and dsitributed publicly.
October: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the record of decision for the NGWSP FEIS/PR.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Navajo Nation President Joe Shirely signed the San Juan River Basin in New Mexico, Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement Agreement on December 17, 2010 (New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed the agreement one week earlier). Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor and Navajo Nation President Shirely signed the Navajo Nation Settlement Contract on the same date.
June: The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project cost-share agreement between Reclamation and the state of New Mexico was executed.
August: President Obama isusued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to accelerate the pace of major infrastructure projects through improved efficiencies in permitting and environmental review processes, to enhance accountability and transparency of federal actions. The NGWSP was selected as one of 14 federal infrastructure projects to be expedited.
November: A water service contract between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the city of Gallup to provide the city with up to 7,500 acre-feet of water annually was approved.
January: The repayment contract between Reclamation and the city of Gallup was executed on January 10.
April: The repayment contract between Reclamation and the Jicarilla Apache Nation was executed on April 12, and the first project construction contract for $10.75 million for Reach 12A was awarded to McMillen, LLC.
June: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Navajo Nation President Shirley and other distinguished dignitaries broke ground for Reach 12A construction at a ceremony on June 2.