Jan 25, 2021

Funding Obtained for Pojoaque Water System in New Mexico

When the water system is complete it will provide clean drinking water to approximately 10,000 people living on tribal and non-tribal land.

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Sufficient funding has been obtained to complete the first phase of the Aamodt settlement agreement water infrastructure in the Pojoaque Basin in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.

The funding is due to an additional $137 million in the federal omnibus spending bill signed into law by former President Trump, reported the Albuquerque Journal. 

In addition to increased funding, the bill extended the substantial completion date of the project by four years to 2028. The Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System is part of the Aamodt Settlement Agreement and was authorized by Congress under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act of 2010 to settle Indian water rights disputes in the Pojoaque Basin.

When the water system is complete, it will provide clean drinking water to approximately 10,000 people living on tribal and non-tribal land, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. This includes residents of the Pueblos of Pojoaque, Nambé, San Ildefonso and Tesuque, as well as some residents of Santa Fe County.

The water system will divert water from the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. The system will include water treatment facilities, storage tanks and transmission and distribution pipelines with the capability to supply up to about 3.57 million gallons per day of drinking water, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The passage of the omnibus bill gave the bureau access to $137 million it can now spend, which is enough funding to complete the first phase of the project, reported the Albuquerque Journal. Additional funding will be needed for the second and third phases of the project.

Despite the funding increase, local resident and retired geologist Mike Johnson believes it will take more for residents to actually hook up to the water system, reported the Albuquerque Journal.

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