The Israeli company Watergen has implemented a pilot project, installing a GEN-M water generator at Rocky Ridge Gas & Market (RRGM) in the Hard Rock community of the Navajo Nation.
It was facilitated by store owner Germaine Simonson, Tó Nizhóní Ání (TNA), StandWithUs, Bright Path Strong (BPS) and 4D Products & Services (4D), in coordination with Arlando Teller, former Arizona state representative and current deputy assistant secretary for tribal affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Arizona State Rep. Alma Hernandez (LD3) assisted with the launch of this joint effort as well.
Nicole Horseherder, executive director of Tó Nizhóní Ání, said: “We live in a region in which drinking-water sources have been compromised by coal mining. Any way to mitigate the need for water while the aquifers recover is critical.”
Teller said, “Tó ííná át’é. In translation: ‘Water Is Life.’ Ms. Germaine Simonson and Ms. Nicole Horseherder have led this community-based effort to assure installation of this machine is operable and servicing community members.”
Max Samarov, executive director of research and strategy at StandWithUs, said “this partnership is an opportunity to engage with Israel and help ensure that Watergen technology reaches communities that need it most.”
BPS board member Dennis Hendricks explained that “access to clean drinking water has long been a threat to many Native American communities, and the onslaught of climate change is accelerating this challenge. Bright Path Strong is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Watergen to bring their life-giving technology to help alleviate this need within tribal communities—areas where some of the most vulnerable reside.”
The GEN-M produces up to 211 gallons of purified drinking water per day, depending on climate conditions. Watergen, 4D and TNA will monitor its effectiveness in the Hard Rock Community, and then evaluate whether it can help other communities within the Navajo Nation.
Watergen and StandWithUs are working together on additional projects inside and outside the United States. For StandWithUs, the partnership is at the center of a larger initiative called Connect for Progress.