Posted by Jim Bissonett on Jul 08, 2018
The Navajo Nation is located in an area of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without running water or a toilet. Many Natives can't get enough clean water, creating a cycle of poverty that limits health, happiness, educational opportunity, and economic security.

The Navajo Water Project seeks funding to continue existing and on-going efforts by St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and DIGDEEP, both non-profit organizations, to provide clean, running water to approximately 205 Navajo American families living within the Smith Lake Chapter in New Mexico. Currently, these homes do not have running water, and must rely on barrels of water that are set outside their home. These barrels are filled once every two weeks by truck. The amount of water amounts to only 7 gallons per home per day. The average American uses over 80 gallons per day per person.
This project involves construction of individual water systems to Navajo homes. 1,200-gallon underground cisterns are installed along with the necessary equipment to make home delivery more efficient for Navajo families. A solar panel, battery and electrical connections are included for families which do not have electrical service to operate the pump.

Construction of each home water system is performed by employees of DIGDEEP, Rotary’s cooperating construction organization, at a cost of $4,500, including installation, materials, solar equipment and home training to operate.
The Rotary Club of Gilbert, Arizona, recently completed a global grant project of $72,000 which funded 16 homes to have water systems installed by DIGDEEP. Many clubs from the U.S.A. and Mexico joined in the fundraising effort, and their funds were matched with grant funds from The Rotary Foundation.

Now the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, Arizona, is doing a second water project, and it is seeking other Rotary Clubs in Arizona, the USA, Mexico and Canada to raise funds. Additional funds will come from grants from The Rotary Foundation. The total project cost will be $112,500 and will bring running water to 25 homes that currently do not have running water. The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes hopes to have this project funded and going by the end of 2018. The two club leaders on this project are Past District Governor Gay Whiting and John McCoy.

View this video from PBS News Hour showing Rotarians in action in the Navajo Nation: