Navajo Nation Declares State of Emergency Over Water Shortages

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The Navajo Nation is facing such severe water shortages due to frozen waterlines, run-down water storage containers and weather-damaged water systems that President Ben Shelly has declared a state of emergency for the reservation.

He signed an emergency resolution on Friday January 25 after the Commission on Emergency Management passed it unanimously, according to a statement from the Navajo Nation.

“I am signing this resolution because we need to access emergency services to help our people who have been without water,” Shelly said in the Nation’s statement. “We have waterlines that need repair, water storage containers that need to be replenished, and we need manpower to help repair the water systems that have been damaged.”

Parts of the reservation have been subject for weeks to temperatures ranging from –25 degrees Fahrenheit to, at the best, temperatures in the teens. Main waterlines have frozen, as have those leading to homes and businesses, the Navajo Nation statement said. Pressure from water freed when the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) thawed the large pipes broke the smaller lines. At least 2,000 homes have been affected.

Read the rest of the story at Indian Country Today Media Network.