In Indian Country, where pickle buckets count as water infrastructure

plumbing in Indian Country

plumbing in Indian Country

Kirk Yazzie, his wife and three children, ages 2 to 9, live in a one-room house in Thoreau that uses a solar-powered water pump that draws water from a cistern to a tap inside their home.Before the demonstration project started two months ago, Yazzie said he hauled water from St. Bonaventure’s well across town.

“I used to haul water in a car with five-gallon pickle buckets,” Yazzie said. The indoor tap, he said, “is a lot better than the buckets.”

That’s from Olivier Uyttebrouck’s story in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal about efforts to bring indoor plumbing to homes in the Navajo homelands of western New Mexico.

In the United States as a whole, 2 percent of homes lack what the U.S. Census Bureau Counts as “complete plumbing facilities“:

  • Hot and cold running water
  • A flush toilet
  • A bathtub or shower

On the Navajo Nation, that number is 38 percent.


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