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District 1

Bernalillo County, Village of To’Hajiilee and State Officials Discuss Urgent Need for Water Supply for Village

07/29/2020

Bernalillo County District 1 Commissioner Debbie O’Malley joined forces with state Rep. Harry Garcia, state Sen. Benny Shendo, Village Chapter President Mark Begay, and members of the Village of To’Hajiilee to highlight and demonstrate the urgent need for a sustainable, clean water supply for the village.

The group is working to obtain right of way permissions for the water lines that go through private land.

“It’s clear that this community is in crisis, and we need the support of everyone, especially the residents of this state, to advocate for the families in this community,” says BernCo Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. “We can only hope that the landowner, Western Albuquerque Land Holdings, is listening and will change their minds, and agree to provide the right of way necessary immediately to support our neighbors in need. Time is of the essence.”

Bernalillo County and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority have been sending water tankers to the village when the water system goes down, due to the corrosive nature of the water that is currently being pumped out of the village wells. At this point, the residents are using bottled water for drinking and cooking.

Without clean water, practicing coronavirus (COVID-19) safe practices often, per the Center for Disease Control guidelines, is nearly impossible.

“Water is life and without clean water we are in serious crisis situation here,” says Village Chapter President Mark Begay. “We are all in this together and I want to thank Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority, our state leadership and Navajo Nation leaders who are all supporting this project.”

Bernalillo County has the right to go to court to condemn the right of way if necessary, but hopes the landowners would work to resolve the issue.

The new water line will be paid for by the Navajo Nation with no cost to Bernalillo County taxpayers.

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