Where Does Our Water Come From
Our drinking water comes from two major sources- surface water and groundwater. Surface water includes rivers, lakes, streams, and reservoirs.
Groundwater includes underground aquifers. One of our most valuable resources, aquifers are things you cannot see and may not even know are
there! Aquifers are formed when air spaces in rocks below the ground become filled with water. Aquifers are the source of water for wells and
springs. Wells can be drilled into the aquifers and water can be pumped out to provide drinking water.
Rain and snow melt eventually add water (recharge) into the porous rock of the aquifer. The rate of recharge is not the same for all aquifers though,
and that must be considered when pumping water from a well. Pumping too much water too fast draws down the water in the aquifer and eventually
causes a well to yield less and less water to run dry. In fact, pumping a well too fast can even cause another nearby well to run dry if both wells are
pumping from the same aquifer.
What is a Precious Resource
Most people take water for granted. Many people assume that the water will always come out of their
kitchen tap and that it will always be wholesome. It is the job of the water system operator to get the
water from the source to the consumer’s tap. This may involve pumping water out of the ground or
diverting a stream, then removing harmful contaminants, and pumping the water through miles and
miles of pipe. Water in the ground may be free, but getting the water from the source to the people’s
homes and making sure that it is safe costs money. An important part of the operator’s job is to help
people understand why piped water to their homes is not free.
- CLICK HERE to download the Public Water Systems Inventory Sheet
- CLICK HERE to download the Public Water Systems & Bottled Water System Permit
- CLICK HERE to download the Navajo Nation Environmental Policy Act
- CLICK HERE to download the NNEPA-PWSSP's Emergency Water Supply Plan