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 well always come
out of their kitchen tap and that 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 sur 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 System 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