This might be all you need to know -- the young Navajo girl in the picture smiled when she learned that was the last day that she would have to carry water for her family's basic needs.  And the person standing behind her?....Rotarian John McKoy (Sun Lakes) -- one of the life-changing Rotarians who helped make it possible.

The Navajo Water Project (NWP) has received wonderful interest and support from almost all the clubs I have visited so far.  That is not totally surprising as it includes a match from the Rotary Foundation and benefits residents right here in Arizona who have lived for years without running water in their homes.   I am calling your attention to this project now so that as you make decisions about allocating limited resources among the many compelling projects we all her about that you will have NWP in mind.

Over the last three years Rotary clubs in District 5495 have helped finance the work of DigDeep to bring clean running water to residents of the Navajo Reservation.  Here are the stunning statistics:


Navajo Population:

  • Approximately 200k Navajo live in an area of 24k square miles with roughly half of that territory within northeast Arizona -- i.e. within our District
  • It is estimated that 70 thousand (roughly 40%) of the Navajo live without indoor tap water and/or toilet
  • A reported 44% of the children on the Reservation live in poverty
Comparative Information:
  • The average American family uses 100 gallons of water per day
  • The average Navajo family uses just seven (7) gallons of water per day
  • That means that Navajo go two weeks on what other Americans use in a single day

We can make a difference:

  • Rotary Club of Gilbert and Rotary Club of Sun Lakes have hosted successive Rotary Foundation Global Grants over the last three years changing lives by providing clean running water to over 50 homes on the Reservation
  • Now the Rotary Club of Four Peaks (Fountain Hills) will host the next iteration of this project to fund running water installations in homes in and around Dilkon Arizona — right here in our District!  

The global grant is being drafted and will be submitted to the Rotary Foundation soon.  I can’t even express how thrilled I would be as District Governor to see clubs from across our District backing this project.

If you would like to be a part of this effort, please let me know as soon as possible so I can add your club’s pledge to the growing list of clubs supporting NWP.