Thousands of homes on the Navajo Natioin reservation will soon get running water for the first time.
The Eastern Navajo Water Pipeline phase 2 is now under construction and officials say it will bring clean, safe water to nearly 10,000 homes.
Navajo Nation residents gathered Monday in Sandoval County to bless the new water system.
“Water is life, and for those that are not getting running water right now, we are working very hard,” Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly said.
Thousands of residents in Sandoval, McKinley, Rio Arriba, and San Juan counties currently drive dozens of miles to fill up with gallons of water.
Federal, state, and Navajo dollars funded the nearly $30 million project.
Officials say it will also provide running water to another 12,000 people in the next 20 years.