Feds Help Tribes Clean Up Water, Dumpsites

October 15, 2014

The federal government is giving Arizona tribes $19.5 million to improve water quality, waste management and establish better environmental practices. 

Most of the funding will pay for water quality projects like watershed protection, wastewater reclamation and drinking water infrastructure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Forty percent of the Navajo Nation, for example, has no running water, so many families have to haul water from several miles away.

The tribe will receive $3.84 million out of the $19.5 million going to Arizona tribes. The Navajo Nation plans to use at least part of the money to clean up contaminated uranium sites.

The Gila River Indian Community will use its share of the funds to clean up five illegal dumpsites on tribal lands and post signs telling people where to take their trash.

The Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona plans to produce an educational video on appropriate solid waste management.

There are 21 tribes in Arizona. About one third of Arizona’s land is made up of tribal nations.