Why this is important
Only about 25% of the allocated water rights on the Navajo Nation San Juan River Irrigation System are being used. Farmland abandonment and idle lands are issues that need to be resolved.
Two types of system maintenance are critical, both physical infrastructure and soft infrastructure.
Physical infrastructure includes all of the canals, drainages, diversions, weirs, ditches, and head gates. These features need to be evaluated for maintenance and improvement. Soft infrastructure includes all of the rules and procedures for managing the system, including databases, maps, farm plot descriptions, and farm permit transfers.
There are many institutions involved in managing the irrigation system, including the Navajo Nation Natural Resources Department, Agriculture Department, Justice Department, Irrigation Department, as well as the San Juan River Dineh Water Users, San Juan River Farm Board, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The system of management and oversight is complicated and needs clear lines of authority and responsibility.
Hogback Main Canal
Salt Wash Siphon