The Public Water Systems Supervision Program is under the Surface and Groundwater Protection
Department of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency The NNEPA is an independent entity of
the Executive Branch of the Navajo Nation. SGWD is responsible for protecting the waters of the Navajo
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 eventally 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.
Water 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
|Yá'át'ééh — Welcome to our homepage!
PWSSP is Now a Primacy Program
The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection
Agency's Public Water Systems Supervision Program
is now being represented as a Primacy Program,
based on U.S. EPA-Region 9's approval of the
Primary Enforcement Authority over most of the water
systems on the Navajo Nation.
|Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency • Public Water Systems Supervision Program
|Copyright © 2003-2014 Public Water Systems Supervision Program. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014
Beautiful Asááyi (pronounced Ah-saa-yeh) Lake nestled in
the Bowl Canyon near Navajo, NM. Photo courtesy of