The irrigation system needs maintanence. There are a lot of weeds in the canals and drainages. Neglected land attracts prairie dogs which damages farmland. Trash dumped along the area also creates problems.
Based on 1950's infrastructure, many of the components have reached the end of their economic life. The system is difficult to operate and maintain. Water does not reach all farm permit holders.
Less farmland in production reduces the amount of food that can be grown to feed the Navajo people.
The system also has inadequate "soft" infrastructure, which means there are no maps of farm plots or irrigation system features, such as diversions, canals, weirs, drainages or right-of-ways. Moreover, the tribe does not have an up-to-date database of farm permit holders. Ideally, a GIS map system tied to a database would allow for easier management of the system.
Weeds Growing in Canal
Prairie Dogs Move into Abandoned Farmland
Trash Dumped in Area
Area 7 is located about 12 miles west of Shiprock and has available about 2,000 acres of irrigable farmland that could be brought into production.
Area 7 was the original site of NAPI and irrigation structures are in place.
These irrigation structures have not been used in six decades and need rehabilitation. The Area 7 is at the end of the Hogback irrigation canal.