The aim of this website is to allow users to make informed inferences and
decisions about the quality of unregulated water sources on the Navajo Nation.
Nearly 30% of households in the Navajo Nation, a sovereign Indigenous nation in
the Southwestern United States, lack access to running water from regulated
public water systems. Water hauling from unregulated water sources is common in
this region and may present a disproportionate burden of exposure to harmful
toxicants like uranium and arsenic. Research shows that wells in closer
proximity to one of the more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo
Nation have higher counts of uranium and arsenic that exceed the federally
mandated maximum contaminant level for each, 10 ppb and 30 ppm, respectively.
One of the main challenges in addressing this problem is the lack of available
information to water users and decision-makers in the Navajo Nation about which
wells are unsafe.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico METALS Superfund Research
have compiled a database of water quality measurements from 1101 wells within
the reservation using data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Church Rock
Uranium Monitoring Project (CRUMP), Navajo Nation Environmental Protection
Agency (NNEPA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Tolani Lake Enterprises,
Northern Arizona University (NAU), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), and
other fellow researchers. To date, none of these compiled data have been
disseminated publicly and in a format that facilitates easy
The dataset used in this map has been cleaned and converted from long to wide
format. In total, the dataset includes details of 1101 wells with location
information from publicly available sources. Each data point in the table
represents an aggregation of all data points from the sources listed above.
Uranium measurements are converted from radioactive activity in picocuries per
liter (pCi/L) to mass in micrograms per liter (ug/L) by dividing pCi/L by an
assumed constant of 0.67. Multiple measurements for each well are combined
according to type, where primary standard analytes, which includes
radionuclides, metals, and metalloids, are aggregated by median value; water
chemistry analytes, which includes pH and hardness, are aggregated by the
arithmetic mean. Measurements that are below the detection limit (BDL) are
excluded from the dataset for two reasons: first, detection limits vary by the
lab and are not always reported, so imputation is inconsistent; second, because
the primary intent of this map is visualization we have opted to favor ease of
use over various sensitivity analyses. Information on data sources and cleaning
will be displayed and clearly articulated in a modal window.
Download the raw data here.
(firstname.lastname@example.org), Team Member, University of New Mexico
Potluru (email@example.com), Team Member, University of New Mexico
Dr. Liping Yang
(firstname.lastname@example.org), Ph.D., Project Advisor, University of New Mexico
Much of the data visualization used in this app is based on the examples linked
Austin Lyons - Dc.js Leaflet Untapped
Scatterplot Matrix Brushing in dc.js