A small community with around 2,500 people that is a part of the Navajo Nation may see the construction of a new 7-mile pipeline delivering vital and needed water.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is in the process of seeking nearly $5 million in funding to build the project’s infrastructure.
That money would come through the New Mexico Water Project Fund, which is overseen by the New Mexico Finance Authority.
The lack of available water in the Tohajilee community, 30 miles to the west of Albuquerque, has only naturally become a pressing concern to its residents.
In recent weeks and months, notes the Navajo Times, the community has “relied on donations from private, city, county, federal and tribal sources for drinking water. For washing dishes and bathing, they’ve been using well water.”
Those donations have come in the form of tanks of water being regularly hauled by truck to the Tohajilee community. The failure of several water wells have only added to the community’s challenges.
An additional obstacle confronting the project is a current effort to secure some 2 miles of private land needed to build the new pipeline. That land is owned by Western Albuquerque Land Holdings.
The New Mexico State Legislature earlier this year approved spending nearly $40 million in water system construction and upgrade projects through the Water Project Fund.
In recent months, the Water Fund has awarded $5.7 million for the constriction of 1.4 miles of pipeline to the City of Gallup; and $2.2 million for a water pipeline and tank replacement project in Ruidoso Downs, among other projects.
A timetable for the construction of the new Tohajilee pipeline has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
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