Construction begins on $1bn Navajo-Gallup water supply project in US

Construction work has begun on the proposed $1bn Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project in New Mexico, US.

The project is expected to provide clean drinking water for 200,000 members of the Navajo Nation.

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, "We are turning dirt today on this project because President Obama has put such a high priority on honoring our commitments to Indian nations, to resolving long-standing water disputes, and to jump-starting major American infrastructure projects,"

Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly said, "This project is moving the Navajo Nation forward by bringing water to many homes. We will continue to look forward [to] and anticipate the many benefits this project will bring to our people."

The project will include construction of 280 miles of pipeline, two water treatment plants and a delivery system which will serve 43 Navajo chapters, the southwest portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup.

The Navajo-Gallup water supply project is expected to begin water supply within 2-3 years and is expected to be fully built-out by 2024.

The US Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $10.75m contract to design-build firm McMillen to build the first phase of the Navajo-Gallup water supply project.

The first four miles of the main pipeline, will be constructed as part of Reach 12A near Tohlakai Hill, outside of Gallup and the remaining portions will be built by the city of Gallup, the Navajo Nation, and the Indian Health Service pursuant to funding agreements.