In this era of bonuses and bailouts, it's nice to know that Congress still can get behind a project that actually will help the common people.

Just ask the families living on the Navajo Nation who will get running water in their homes for the first time.

Thanks to Sen. Jeff Bingaman's coaxing and a wave of President Obama's pen, the pipeline connecting the Animas-La Plata Water Project with the Navajo Nation, currently under construction, can continue to move forward.

The bill, passed by Congress as part of a wider package to protect public lands, will settle one of the longest running water rights disputes in the nation, between the Navajo tribe and the city of Gallup.

The law also provides the pipeline with federal funding so it can continue stretching westward, bringing fresh water to the Navajo people in much-need dry areas of the reservation.

Almost everyone in the area affected knows the importance of this pipeline.

It represents the prospect of progress toward improving living conditions on the reservation. Having to get your home's water out of a well is one thing, but having to haul that water for miles through the harsh New Mexico desert is unacceptable for families struggling for something better.

We thank Senator Bingaman for realizing how important this bill is. Even after it briefly stalled during the debate, he showed his concern for the Navajo people by continuing to pursue it.

We're sure they would love to thank you by raising a glass of water from the pipeline in your honor, so let's hurry up and get it built so that can become something real.