More funding, less meddling for water projects
March 26, 2021
WASHINGTON – Arizona tribal officials told a Senate committee Wednesday that the federal government can help address a crisis with water infrastructure on their lands through more funding, and less meddling.
Navajo Department of Water Resources Director Jason John and Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores made the comments during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on water infrastructure for Native communities. Leaders of Oregon and Alaska tribes also testified at the hearing.
John told the committee that the Navajo Nation has identified water development “as one of its highest needs,” and has put $200 million of tribal funds toward water projects in recent years. But that barely puts a dent in the nearly $4 billion in projects the tribe has identified, for everything from drinking water to irrigation to drought response.