Connecting Waterpeople

USBR awards $76 million construction contract for Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project

  • USBR awards $76 million construction contract for Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project

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Bureau of Reclamation
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.
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The Bureau of Reclamation continues to make significant progress towards completion of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (NGWSP) with the award of a $76,113,868 contract to SJ Louis Construction of Rockville, Minnesota, for construction of the next portion of the project, the Navajo Code Talkers Sublateral.

The sublateral will further the NGWSP, which is bringing clean and reliable water to Tribal and rural communities in northwestern New Mexico. The work will be located along New Mexico State Highway 264 between Yah-Ta-Hey, New Mexico, and Window Rock, Arizona, and will consist of the installation of approximately 17 miles of 24- to 30-inch diameter pipe and one water storage tank. Work under this contract will begin in January 2022 and is expected to last for approximately two years.

“This is a significant milestone for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project and illustrates the Department of the Interior’s commitment to Tribal communities,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “The department is excited to leverage the new resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make similar investments to ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in Tribal communities.”

“Reclamation is pleased to begin construction on the Navajo Code Talkers Sublateral,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “This will mark another step towards meeting the United States’ obligation to the Navajo Nation under the Nation’s water rights settlement agreement on the San Juan River Basin in New Mexico, where over a third of households still haul drinking water to their homes.”

These areas currently rely on a rapidly depleting groundwater supply of poor quality to meet the current and future demands of more than 43 Navajo chapters, the southwest area of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and the City of Gallup, New Mexico. The NGWSP consists of two main pipeline systems – the San Juan Lateral and the Cutter Lateral.

When the full project is completed, it will include approximately 300 miles of pipeline, two water treatment plants, 19 pumping plants and multiple water storage tanks. Construction on the Cutter Lateral is nearly complete and water deliveries are currently being made to eight Navajo communities and soon to the southwestern portion of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, serving 6,000 people or 1,500 households.

This contract continues many years of hard work by Reclamation, the Navajo Nation and other project partners constructing the NGWSP to improve the lives of residents and provide opportunities for economic development and job creation.

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