Simulation Drought Brings Water Shortage to Navajo Mountain
It hadn’t rain for over for over nine months here in the area of Navajo Mountain
You’re from the Navajo Mountain area of the Navajo Reservation. • The scenery is beautiful and could potentially be a tourist attraction.
Water has become more scarce and chapter officials, school officials and especially livestock owners are beginning to panic.
People in the community are blaming the shortage on Peabody for its slurry line to the Mohave Generating station in Nevada.
You’re a resident in the Rainbow Village area of the community. • You are the current council delegate for the Navajo Mountain Chapter and you decided to seek reelection. • Your children go to school at the nearby Utah public schools. • The majority of community members work for the Peabody Coal Mine.
What should you do? • Wait for more study • Approach Peabody Coal Mine You have the following advisors to assist you in making a decision that will affect your community. Read what each have to offer you. • Chapter Officials • Campaign Manager • A scientist • A lawyer
What should you do? • Your chapter officials as your advisor: • Ken Yazzie (Chapter Manager) - Well, there are a lot of community members that have lost their livestock due to the drought. If the ranchers’ cattle are dying off, more and more people will be seeking social and economic services and assistance. The community cannot have access to the water at the school which is the closest water source, as the school head says that she is “there to provide education to the community’s children, not water to the community.” People now have to drive long distances like to Black Mesa on the very poorly maintained dirt roads. Although the monsoon season is here, it is not making the water shortage any better. The last measurable rain came down so fast that it washed out some areas of the road. We suggest that you approach Peabody as they are reducing our water supply tremendously. • Sarah Dee (Chapter Secretary) – It’s not just hard for livestock owners. It is also affecting school children. I finally got my kids to go to school today because they didn’t want to go to school not being clean. We’re told not to use too much water and as a result, I’m not doing laundry as often. Besides, I cannot afford to do laundry all that much now because I continuously buy gasoline for my truck to go all the way to Black Mesa just to haul enough water for basic home use. The truck that hauls water could go from home to home to supply water. Since Peabody is using a lot of water and is reducing our use, Peabody should provide this service to our community.
What should you do? • Your campaign manager as your advisor • I suggest that you wait and see what further studies will provide. There are too many people in the community whom are employed by the Peabody Coal Mine. If you approach Peabody, the miners will think that you are trying to shut down the mine. 76% of the community people are employed at Peabody. That is the majority of the people that could vote in your favor to continue as a council delelate.
What should you do? • A scientist as your advisor • It is evident that Peabody is using the N-Aquifer to run its slurry line to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin,Nevada. The three current sources of potable water in the Navajo Mountain area are wells that use the N-Aguifer, an alluvial and a colluvial aquifer. Since the recharge of the shallow water wells are not taking place, tapping in the N-Aquifer is the most logical approach. In doing so, this puts a greater demand on the N-Auifer as the Peabody mine is already tapping that resource. I suggest that you wait for more study results and prove that Peabody is actually reducing the water levels in these wells.
What should you do? • A lawyer as your advisor • As a lawyer to your Navajo Nation council, I suggest you wait until you get further reliable data. Whatever you decide to do, DO NOT approach Peabody yet. It is too risky and premature at this point to approach them. I suggest other alternatives. We are currently looking into some issues with Peabody. It is NOT the proper time to approach Peabody.
Prioritize Your Goals • Goal A: Get reelected as Navajo Mountain Chapter Council Delegate • Goal B: Improve socioeconomic status of your community • Goal C: Preserve the environment • Rank your goals by putting the most important in Goal #1. • Goal #1: • Goal #2: • Goal #3: • Given the points of views from your advisors and after ranking your goals, discuss the issue and make a decision: • Wait and see • Approach Peabody
What should you do? • Wait for more study • Approach Peabody Coal Mine
Wait and See • Community members are flocking into your office at the chapter house. • Now they want compensation for the lost of whole herds due to the extreme scarcity of water. • Some want financial assistance from the chapter house to buy gasoline so that they could haul water. • The school is on your case because community members are taking water from the school’s already limited source of water.
What should you do? • Your chapter officials as your advisor: • Ken Yazzie (Chapter Manager) – As I told you, there would be people coming in for even more assistance. We are a chapter and we are supposed to be governing this chapter. As a government, we are to provide services but at the same time, we should be providing infrastructure for self sufficiency. Chapter houses always provide and provide. That’s how we ruin people from becoming self sufficient. Now, the people want more assistance from the chapter. I suggest that we provide emergency care and plan for a long term solution tapping into the Drinking Water Set-Aside Grant from the EPA, Region 9. • Sarah Dee (Chapter Secretary) – I agree with Ken. The emergency funds is a quick fix. A long term solution is needed as emergency funds will become depleted. There are funds available for such projects.
What should you do? • Your campaign manager as your advisor • I see a point in your chapter officials recommendations. You seemed to have pissed off the whole community. You need to regain your respect as a leader. They think you’re not doing anything about the situation. Provide emergency care, NOW!
What should you do? • A scientist as your advisor • The type of studies you need to pinpoint Peabody as the source of this problem will require some funds and time. That information is not going to be readily available. You need to give us more time to get pertinent data that will support your decision to approach Peabody. If you can, allow us the time to conduct further research.
What should you do? • A lawyer as your advisor • It is good that you have considered to hold off on approaching Peabody. I would suggest that you continue to do so. Your chapter officials have come up with a good alternative that would give us some time to deal with Peabody on a settlement. Great progress has been made. I don’t want to disturb this progress. We can have Peabody assist with the plans for long range solutions. It’s just not the right time to approach.
What should you do? • Continue to wait for more studies to be made, apply “Quick Fix” and plan for long range. • Approach Peabody Given the points of views and keeping in mind your goals, discuss within your group what your next decision will be.
Continue to wait • The issues are escalating. Your “Quick Fix” in emergency care worked but now, the shallow wells are being contaminated by surface water from the recent monsoon. Now, the water source isn’t potable. The school is being shut down by the state of Utah for non-compliance of water code. The long range planning of developing future water sources is taking more time than ever. • You lost the election! • The Navajo Nation has a settlement now. Construction is now taking place in your community of the new well tapping into the N-Aquifer. This will bring a healthy supply of potable water to the community and provide for infrastructure for business gains (stores, hotels, agriculture).
Approach Peabody • You just screwed up a huge settlement! Next week, the Navajo Nation and Peabody were meeting on a $628 million dollar settlement on the Little Colorado River Basin. Peabody has now retreated from this settlement, now losing trust in the Navajo Nation. The lawyer wanted to get this settlement which included extra funds to fund the development of a new well using the N-Aquifer supplying the community’s need plus more (agriculture) for the next 120 years based on population growth data. • You’re re-elected! But what about Window Rock?
Evaluation • As a group, discuss what just happened. Encourage everyone’s points of view of the outcome of the decisions made. • Using the six traits of writing, write a persuasive essay on this simulation experience. Include such things as • the process of decisions made • if you were to do it again, what decisions would you change? • As a group, evaluate your goals and see if you accomplished them.