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[Construction Water Pre-Payment]

Pre-Payment Policy for Construction Water Use Permit Applicants

Make all checks payable to Navajo Nation Water Code .

Again, the Navajo Nation Council passed a comprehensive Water Code in 1984. The Code is applicable to “all the waters of the Navajo Nation,” which include all surface and groundwaters.

The Code further declares that “… [I]t shall be unlawful for any person … to … make any use of … water within the territorial jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation unless … this Code [has] been complied with. No right to use water, from whatever sources, shall be recognized, except use rights obtained under and subject to this Code. [Emphasis added.]

In 1997, and again in 2010, the Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation Council established the Nation's water use fees. The Code was amended in 1997 by a resolution of the Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.  (Click on the link to the left.) The Committee set out specific water use fees for different categories of water use.  Normal construction use of water, for example, currently carries a fee of $4.00 per thousand gallons, plus Navajo Nation sales tax, which is now 4%. Water use permits are required of all construction water users. (For fee and tax information, click on the menu tab to the upper left titled 'Summary of Water Code, Fees, Taxes.')

Our recent multi-year programmatic audit by the Auditor General of the Navajo Nation found that some substantive violations of the Navajo Nation TCOB Water Code were occurring, including permit violations and non-payment of water use fees due from various users.  We were directed by the results of the audit to identify and correct substantive instances of noncompliance regarding the Water Code.  Therefore:

  • The construction water use permit applicant is to make as accurate an estimate of water use, as it reasonably can, for each distinct project for which a water use permit, or set of permits, is requested.  Water Code Section staff will verify the estimates through their own calculations.

  • When more than one permit is associated with a distinct project (i.e., when water is obtained from more than one source) the applicant will make as good an estimate as it reasonably can of the volume of total project water to be used from each source for which a water use permit is requested.

  • Each estimate of total project water use, and the basic calculations through which it was determined, will be made part of the water use permit application(s) submitted by the applicant.

  • Each construction water use applicant is required to make a 100% pre-payment for the total volume of estimated water use for each distinct project, plus tax.   (Installment payments may be possible for extremely large projects. Special approval is required. For these rare instances.)

  • If less than 100% of the volume of water paid for is used, it is entirely up to the discretion of the Water Code Civil Engineer whether or not to allow the unused volume to be applied to the applicant's next project for which a water use permit, or set of permits, is issued.  Refunds are not available.