Indian Country 52 #1 – Navajo Water Lady
“The people who live in the northwest corner of New Mexico consider Darlene Arviso to be a living saint. “Everybody knows me around here. They’ll be waving at me,” she says from behind the wheel of the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission water truck. “They call me the water lady.”
That’s because Arviso hauls water for tribe members of the Navajo Nation, where, on average, residents use 7 gallons a day to drink, cook, bathe and clean. The average person in the U.S. uses 100 gallons a day.
That’s because Arviso hauls water for tribe members of the Navajo Nation, where, on average, residents use 7 gallons a day to drink, cook, bathe and clean. The average person in the U.S. uses about 100 gallons a day.
Arviso drives to 250 homes a month, filling residents’ plastic barrels, buckets, jars and any other containers the families have. When people see the giant yellow truck coming down the road, Navajo member Georgianna Johnson says, it’s as if they’ve seen Santa coming down the chimney.
“You know what we do? ‘The water truck’s coming! Get the buckets ready!’ We get all happy. Today’s the day I’m going to take a bath,” Johnson says.
“Water’s got to do with everything. It really does. To wash the dishes, my aunt tells us the rinsing water is still clean. She said, ‘Use that the next time when you gonna wash dishes.’ So that’s how we make the water stretch,” she says.
About 40 percent of the Navajo Nation has to make their water stretch. The water here in Smith Lake comes from the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission well, about 50 miles away.”
– NPR Code Switch, For Many Navajo, A Visit From The ‘Water Lady’ Is A Refreshing Sight.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #1 – Navajo Water Lady.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.