GADII'AHI – Equipment Operator Ned Castiano drove a backhoe loader to locations along the irrigation canal here to open valves so flushing could start Wednesday morning.
This month, personnel from the Navajo Nation Irrigation Office in Shiprock have been clearing debris and completing maintenance on the system of canals that serves farms in chapters along the San Juan River. They are preparing the canals to receive water after they were closed last year in response to the Gold King Mine spill. That incident released more than 3 million gallons of contaminated mine waste into the Animas and San Juan rivers last August, and tribal officials issued water-use restrictions for the river water.
Gadii’ahi is served by the Cudei canal, which receives river water through a pipeline or siphon that runs under the river from the Hogback canal.
The Hogback canal delivers river water to the Shiprock and Tsé Daa K’aan chapters. Together, the system runs 30 miles from the Hogback diversion to the Gadii’ahi-Tokoi Chapter. A separate system — the Fruitland Irrigation canal — serves the Nenahnezad, San Juan and Upper Fruitland chapters.