WARM SPRINGS, OR -- The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs need a new water system. The reservation relies on three pumps to ensure drinkable water is available for the community's 4,000 residents, and to provide water to fight wildland fires. Two of those pumps are now not working.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers it an "imminent threat." Leland Jones, from Northwest regional HUD, tells KBND News, "They don't have to put all their eggs in one basket, or all of their hopes on just one of the three pumps. Better still, being able to rely on all three pumps, increases their capacity to make sure all have potable water and make sure they have the capacity to fight a fire if they need to." He adds, "The Confederated Tribes had been concerned and wished to be proactive and make sure that it avoids any problems should that third pump break down, by making sure the first two pumps are restored." But that's an expensive project, with an $850,000 price tag.
Because of the urgency of the situation, HUD is providing $447,000 to fix the system, "The Confederated Tribes believe there is an imminent risk or threat to their water system. The maximum amount that we can provide without a presidential disaster declaration is $450,000," says Jones. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service will provide the additional $423,000 dollars necessary for the project.