This was the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s first water/wastewater design-build project and addresses a critical water shortage in the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache nations. Congress appropriated $1.5 billion for this 3.5-MGD greenfield project – which involves the treatment and conveyance of water from Cutter Reservoir – will provide a clean, reliable, and long-term water source for the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations communities along the Cutter Lateral. The project, located in an isolated area in northwest New Mexico, is a 3.5-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) greenfield surface WTP with capacity for future upgrade to 5.4 MGD at Final Build Out. The design-build team’s approach to delivery was based on collaboration with Reclamation and project stakeholders with one simple goal: jointly deliver a project that provides high-quality drinking water that meets water quality performance requirements and budget and schedule objectives. The team’s ability to work in an open and transparent environment led to the project’s success.
Delivering Life-Changing Impacts
Water, essential for life, is in short supply and of poor quality in the Four Corners region. Over 40% of Navajo Nation households rely on hauling water to meet daily needs. Gallup, NM, groundwater supply levels dropped about 200 feet over the previous 10 years. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally hit Navajo communities due to a lack of available water. This project is critical to improving living conditions to help provide drinking water to combat COVID-19 now and in the future. The team was also committed to the community utilizing New Mexico-licensed contractors, spending local dollars, and accessing construction resources from small local communities to optimize the best value for dollars spent. The project’s dependable water supply will allow the served communities to thrive and grow. The State of New Mexico and Navajo Nation considers this essential work necessary for the long-term viability of the region.
|U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
|Archer Western Contractors of New Mexico, McDade-Woodcock, Inc., Navajo Engineering & Construction Authority, Souder Miller & Associates