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Navajo Chapters Oppose Huge Pumped Storage Projects

Last Real Indians

“We have concerns for the impact on the animals that we live with because as they destroyed Black Mesa with their strip mining, all the wildlife that used to be in the area moved to the northern edge of Black Mesa. That’s why we considered Black Mesa’s northern edge as the refuge area,” said Herb Yazzie, a Black Mesa resident and retired chief justice of the Navajo Nation... The projects would span nearly 40 linear miles on Black Mesa’s northeastern escarpment. They would pump water uphill to newly constructed reservoirs atop Black Mesa when electricity prices are low and generate electricity and revenue from return flows to reservoirs below the mesa when prices are higher.  “These massive, proposed projects would cause major disruption and displacement to Diné communities, ecosystems, and environment. Any project that would threaten and harm aquifers, wells, and springs must be heavily scrutinized,” said Robyn Jackson of Diné C.A.R.E... The projects propose eight new reservoirs across 38,000 acres. Filling them would require 450,000 acre-feet of water, an enormous share of the remaining Colorado River flows.