Navajo Community To Get Water Needs Met

December 23, 2014
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Navajo Community To Get Water Needs Met

Laurel Morales
Lindsay Johnson has had to conserve water most of her life. It's a happy day when the water lady fills her barrels.

The average person in the United States uses 100 gallons of water a day. On much of the Navajo Nationa person uses seven.

Seven gallons to drink, cook, bathe and clean.

In Smith Lake, N.M., the Saint Bonaventure Indian Mission has been delivering water to more than 200 Navajo elders and families who don’t have a vehicle or gas money to get it themselves.

Many live as far as 50 miles from the mission well. Now the mission and a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called DIGDEEP are digging a well closer to their homes.

"It really is an incredible injustice," said George McGraw, the founder of DIGDEEP. "If you’re born Navajo, you’re 67 times more likely not to have a tap or toilet in your house than if you’re born black, white, Asian or Hispanic American."

When DIGDEEP raises enough money, it will pipe the water to people’s homes. McGraw and his team have dug wells in developing countries around the world with the help of local partners. But they’re now focusing efforts closer to home and surveying the need on tribal land in the United States.