Coalition brings Israeli water technology to Hard Rock community in Navajo Nation
July 23, 2021
(JNS) - The Israeli company Watergen has implemented a pilot project, installing a GEN-M water generator at Rocky Ridge Gas & Market in the Hard Rock community of the Navajo Nation.
It was facilitated by store owner Germaine Simonson, Tó Nizhóní Ání, StandWithUs, Bright Path Strong and 4D Products & Services, in coordination with Arlando Teller, former Arizona state representative and current deputy assistant secretary for tribal affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez assisted with the launch of this joint effort as well.
Watergen's innovative technology creates high-quality drinking water from the air. This project aims to address the lack of access to clean drinking water within the Hard Rock community. According to recent estimates, nearly 10,000 families across Navajo Nation lack access to running water.
Nicole Horseherder, executive director of Tó Nizhóní Ání, said: "We live in a region in which drinking-water sources have been compromised by coal mining. Any way to mitigate the need for water while the aquifers recover is critical."
TNA worked with Germaine Simonson and Marvin "Callo" James, owners at RRGM to prepare the site and install the electrical hardware needed to operate the GEN-M.
Teller said, "Tó ííná át'é. In translation: 'Water Is Life.' Ms. Germaine Simonson and Ms. Nicole Horseherder have led this community-based effort to assure installation of this machine is operable and servicing community members."
Max Samarov, executive director of research and strategy at StandWithUs, said "this partnership is an opportunity to engage with Israel and help ensure that Watergen technology reaches communities that need it most."
BPS board member Dennis Hendricks explained that "access to clean drinking water has long been a threat to many Native American communities, and the onslaught of climate change is accelerating this challenge. Bright Path Strong is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Watergen to bring their life-giving technology to help alleviate this need within tribal communities-areas where some of the most vulnerable reside."
The GEN-M produces up to 211 gallons of purified drinking water per day, depending on climate conditions. Watergen, 4D and TNA will monitor its effectiveness in the Hard Rock Community, and then evaluate whether it can help other communities within the Navajo Nation.
Watergen and StandWithUs are working together on additional projects inside and outside the United States. For StandWithUs, the partnership is at the center of a larger initiative called Connect for Progress.