No Electricity, Gas, Water, Phones for Many Thousands
Walter “Wally” Haase is General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA).
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Tell us a little about NTUA and your unique organization.
Wally Haase: NTUA stands for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. It was created in 1959 because the investor-owned utilities, the co-ops and the municipals that were to serve our region just didn't meet the utility needs of our people. That's the best way to describe it. The Navajo Tribal Council had decided that because our needs were being overlooked, the only way we were going to get our people taken care of was to do it ourselves.
NTUA was created with that spirit in mind. Originally, we started out as a water services provider. Shortly after that we acquired some electric utility assets and started to grow from that point in time. The rest of the United States and especially the rural areas were electrified in the 1930s and 1940s because the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Services helped the co-ops.
The Navajo Nation is located in three states. It's in the northern third of the state of Arizona - a neighbor to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff area and Lake Powell. We have a section of territory close to the Four Corners region in Utah. In fact, we now own and operate all the utilities in the Navajo Nation located in southeastern Utah.
We have a little larger service territory section in northwestern New Mexico. From the city of Farmington down to the city of Gallup, the area in-between is probably a hundred and twenty-two miles.