FARMINGTON — President Barack Obama today declared a disaster for the Navajo Nation and ordered that federal aid supplement the tribe's efforts to return water to its people.
About 3,000 families and businesses lost water after pipelines were frozen or damaged during a cold spell. Most pipelines were damaged between mid-December and late January, according to a White House press release today. 
Federal funding is available to the tribe and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work, the release said. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the tribe.
W. Craig Fugate, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, named Mark A. Neveau as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area, the release said.
FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the tribe and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.