Project Details


Goal: $250,000
Raised: $283,500
What We Are Funding: Installation of running home water systems in 63 homes (see side panel for diagram & components)
Location: Dilkon Chapter, Navajo Nation, Arizona, United States
Timeline: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
Contact Person: Beverly Luedke


Many Navajo Nation residents have never had running water in their homes. The lack or readily available potable water fosters a cycle of poverty that diminishes health, happiness, educational opportunity and economic security. A recent NGO study estimated that up to 40% of people living on the reservation do not have piped water in their homes. These families live in mostly rural areas.

For Navajo families without water and electricity service, there are few options for water: 1) those who can afford purchase bottled water, paying a large amount of their monthly income and driving long distances (up to 50 miles round trip); and 2) those who can afford bottled water must travel to fill plastic jugs and containers with water—providing a household with one to several gallons of water per day. Many families collect water once a month in 50-gallon barrels, but these often aren’t cleaned—leaving water contaminated.

Some haul water from unsafe sources like shallow livestock wells that can be contaminated with arsenic, e-coli or uranium. Large barrels must be left outside and are subject to freezing. Their minimal water supply is used for drinking, cooking and washing. Often families use the same water multiple times (ex. boil pasta, and use same water to wash veggies, then wash hair, and finally pour spend water in toilet tank.)

There is not sufficient water for drinking, bathing, cleaning dishes or other things that modern, piped water connections make possible. The cost of bringing traditional services to these remote Navajo homes scattered across the rural harsh terrain is prohibitively expensive. Even if there were an effort to build water infrastructure, it is technically and financially impractical; and would take decades to deploy. The water system we are funding with DigDeep, our cooperating partner, will provide at least 1200 gallons per household per month, or about 40 gallons per day in comparison to 7 gallons per day prior to installation. That’s about 12 gallons or more per person per day for the average size household. 

The Project

The Navajo Water Project Phase 3 seeks funding to install these running home water systems in approximately 55 homes of native Navajo’s residing in rural areas of the Dilkon Chapter Arizona. Rotary has completed approximately 50 in-home installations in New Mexico through donations from 51 Rotary Clubs in 12 Rotary Districts and two prior Rotary Foundation global grants.

Rotary has shifted attention to adjacent Navajo lands of the Dilkon Chapter in Arizona were needs are greatest by funding two Global Grants, Phase 1 (GG 20-92585) and Phase 2 (GG 20-11422) through the support and effort of Districts 5495 and 5280. Despite stay-at-home orders and restrictions imposed by Navajo Tribal leaders to reduce spread of COVID-19, the installation of home water systems has resumed. With streamlined installation procedures and approved COVID safety protocols, we fully expect 125 homes will be equipped with running water by October 2021. The current grant application (GG 21-23389) would enable continuation of this work for Navajo families in Dilkon.

330 families were identified in most need of in-home running water based on an extensive community assessment survey.

160 of the 330 were identified as critically needy. The criteria for assessing needs included the lack of home running water and clean water storage facilities, the presence of elderly and disabled adults and children in the home, and “Limited Service,” defined by the revised JMP ladder for household drinking water services as more than 20 minutes round-trip distance to the nearest water station.

Rotary Participants

Flagstaff Rotary Club (Host)

Bahia Blanca Norte Rotary Club (International)

Temple South Rotary Club (Funding)

West Covina Rotary Club

Pearl Rotary Club

District 4190

District 5151

District 5280

District 5495

District 5840

District 5870

District 5890