Interior Department Announces Funding for Romney Bill to Bring Water to Utah’s Navajos

During negotiations of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Romney secured full funding for the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement

WASHINGTON—The Department of the Interior announced the allocation of more than $39 million to continue fulfilling the Navajo Utah Water Settlement, funding which was secured by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) during negotiations of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. During the negotiations, Romney secured $214 million to fully fund the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act—legislation to bring running water to the nearly 40% of Utah’s Navajo Nation who lack it. The legislation was introduced by Senator Romney in 2019, authorized by Congress in 2020, and then fully funded by the bipartisan infrastructure bill in 2021.

“For decades, Utah’s leaders worked to find a solution to bring running water and wastewater facilities to Navajo Nation in Utah, and during negotiations of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we were finally able to get it across the finish line,” Senator Romney said. “I was proud to have helped make good on a longstanding promise by the federal government to Utah’s Navajos, and I appreciate the leadership of the many people over the years who have been strong advocates of these efforts.”


The Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act, which is the result of decades of negotiation, recognizes and protects the reserved water rights of Navajo Nation and will bring clean drinking water to the Navajo people in Utah.

  • The settlement recognizes a reserved water right of 81,500 acre-feet of water for current and future use by the state of Utah.
  • The federal government will pay Navajo Nation over $210 million and the state of Utah will contribute $8 million toward drinking water infrastructure on Navajo Nation.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests more than $13 billion directly in Tribal communities across the country and makes Tribal communities eligible for billions more in much-needed investments. That includes $2.5 billion to implement the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund, which will help deliver long-promised water resources to Tribes, certainty to all their non-Indian neighbors, and a solid foundation for future economic development for entire communities dependent on common water resources.

More details on how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Utah—including by rebuilding its roads, mitigating drought conditions, and preparing for and responding to wildfires can be found here.