Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Cultural Resource Project
In 2011, Chronicle Heritage, operating at the time as PaleoWest, was awarded the nation’s largest public archaeology contract. To properly treat the wealth of archaeological and ethnographic resources in the path of a 280-mile water pipeline in the Four Corners stemming from a major Congressional Indian water-rights settlement, Chronicle Heritage archaeologists, ethnographers, and historians created successful agreement documents, conducted fieldwork, completed specialized analyses, and produced reports necessary to satisfy two federal and two state agencies, as well as 22 consulting tribal entities. The multi-year project was tagged by the Obama Administration as the Department of the Interior’s top-priority project nationwide, and Chronicle Heritage worked in concert with the Department to secure the additional Congressional funding necessary for the project through the passage of Public Law 114-57, the New Mexico Navajo Water Settlement Technical Corrections Act.
The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (Project) will provide a reliable long-term municipal and industrial water supply to the eastern section of the Navajo Nation, the southwestern portion of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the city of Gallup, New Mexico. These areas currently rely on rapidly-depleting groundwater of poor quality, inadequate to meet current and future demands of more than 43 Navajo chapters including Fort Defiance and Window Rock in Arizona, the city of Gallup, New Mexico, and the Teepee Junction area of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
The Project at full build-out will divert 37,376 acre-feet of water annually from the San Juan River Basin and treat it to Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards through a water treatment plant on each Lateral and convey and deliver it via approximately 300 miles of pipeline, 19 pumping plants, and several storage tanks.