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70,000 people on the Navajo Nation live without easy access to one of the most basic necessities of life. That's the same population as Santa Fe with no running water that is safe to drink, safe to wash vegetables with, safe to bathe children in. And they are U.S. citizens.

In 2004, a centuries old dispute between the Navajo Nation and New Mexico over the water of the San Juan River Basin finally came to an end. In the final agreement, the Navajo Nation maintained just 56% of their San Juan water rights in exchange for a massive infrastructure project to bring running water to parts of the reservation that have gone without for centuries. In turn, the agreement provides the much-needed water reserves for New Mexico to continue to develop into the 21st century.

Now in 2007 this historic water settlement will go before the halls of Congress for final approval. But will it pass?

"The Water Haulers" features profiles of Navajos struggling to prosper in their dry ancestral lands, expert explanation of these pressing water rights issues, and interviews with policymakers throughout the Southwest. This documentary explores the challenges facing a culture when the basic human right of access to water is unobtainable.

These are The Water Haulers.

Orginally broadcast on New Mexico PBS station KNME.

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