From The Navajo Times (Donovan Quintero):
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is asking its customers to get into the habit of conserving the water they pay for and use.
NTUA, the tribal utility enterprise that restricted the amount of water its water-loading stations could take, stated on Wednesday asking its consumers to get into the habit of conserving water.
The reasons: drought and extreme weather events…
While a few areas in the Navajo Nation received nearly an inch of rain, much of the reservation received less than half an inch of precipitation, despite some places getting a heavy downpour, according to data from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center.
On June 27, water levels in some NTUA tanks dropped 2 feet, Kontz said, because some water-loading station customers are filling their 100- to 200-gallon water tanks repeatedly throughout the day. He said NTUA found one customer took 6,000 gallons of water in two days. The significant drop in water levels prompted the water restriction to be issued.
Kontz said the water-loading stations are connected to the main water supply that provides water to its other water customers with water piping. The over-usage by water-loading station customers caused the water pressure to homes and businesses to drop.
The restriction, Kontz said, has been helping tank levels to recover.
NTUA has approximately 39,000 customers and has 18 water-loading stations that serve an unknown number of additional customers who do not have access to a piped water system.
The tribal utility company provides water for communities along the San Juan River, from Fruitland, N.M. to Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. Those communities get water from the City of Farmington. The city issued a water shortage advisory and sent a letter to NTUA on May 27, informing them it would encourage its customers to reduce their water usage by 10%.
Chris Sypher, the community works director for the City of Farmington, said on June 7, the city uses up to 16 million gallons of water a day, and NTUA has access to up to 6 million gallons of water for its reservation customers during the summer…
NTUA manages and operates the domestic, public water systems providing water for human consumption throughout the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation Water Resources Department oversees livestock wells and windmills.
NTUA recommends minimizing water usage by not washing parking lots or driveways, using potable water for construction purposes, watering lawns or gardens less than three times per week, and hauling less than 500 gallons – of potable water for remote home cistern systems – per day.
NTUA also recommends homeowners check for leaky faucets, leaky toilets, turn off the water while brushing their teeth, and taking fewer or shorter showers.