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Tue July 2, 2013
Navajo Nation Declares Drought Emergency
The nation's largest American Indian reservation is awash in extreme drought, and that has forced its leaders to declare an emergency.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed the emergency declaration Monday along with a memorandum directing all executive branch agencies to develop plans for responding to the drought and educating the public about the effects.
Over the last month, drought conditions on the Navajo Nation — from the tribe's lands in New Mexico and Arizona to southeastern Utah — have worsened.
Some areas have seen just over one-third of their normal precipitation this year. Shelly says the land is dry and wells aren't producing water like they have in the past.
The declaration makes available emergency funds for Navajo communities and clears the way for the tribe to seek a federal disaster declaration.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.