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News Release

Tolani Lake Enterprises 

Tolani Lake Enterprises (TLE), along with their team of collaborators and contractors, will mark accomplishments of their CARES Initiative on Friday, January 15 at 2:00pm. Due to pandemic precautions and limited personnel allowed onsite, a Facebook Livestream is planned. Should the livestream not be available, video will be uploaded to the Tolani Lake Enterprises Facebook page later that afternoon.

The event will feature Cameron Old Farm near Cameron, Arizona, one of 6 new well sites developed under the innovative and unique CARES grant from Navajo Nation Water Resources Department.

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding to the Navajo Nation, a $3.46 million grant was awarded to Tolani Lake Enterprises through the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources CARES budget. The use of an experienced community-based organization to expand the capacity of Navajo Nation Water Resources allowed rapid mobilization to develop wells, watering points, water catchment and delivery strategies to bring needed water to families without ready access to water for their homes, farms and livestock. The project also supported a hoophouse initiative that is building greenhouses across the region growing food to share with families in need.

Working under an unrealistic deadline to complete the scope of work, the Tolani Lake Enterprises Team battled supply, equipment and winter weather challenges and still was able to complete the majority of the suite of projects in about 6 weeks, including:

  • Submitting required permission to survey applications to Navajo Nation for each of 6 well sites and completing archaeological surveys at well sites.
  • Drilling five monitor and five production wells and sampling well water quality with a comprehensive safe drinking water analysis.
  • Distributing 232 water filters in 31 communities, purchasing five water delivery trucks, delivering water to more than 40 families in five communities and installing 94 water catchment systems in 29 communities.
  • Assembling six new hoophouses in four communities, supporting hoop house growers to produce food for families in need, providing more than 65 food deliveries. 
  • In total, the project has provided paid work for more than 70 people, the majority of whom live in COVID-impacted Navajo communities.

The Navajo Nation deadline held firm at December 28, 2020 even though Congress extended state and tribal CARES Act deadlines another year. Tolani Lake Enterprises is requesting a deadline extension for this project to allow the team to complete an additional well in Coalmine Canyon, complete water delivery systems at five of the six well sites, install more water catchment systems and distribute water purification system to more families in more communities that will allow them to safely drink the water from the new wells and the rooftop catchment systems. Additional time would allow the team to design and install well-based water purification based on the findings from the water analyses and deliver more water and produce more food for more families in need across more communities.

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