What modern luxury has become so integral to our daily lives that it barely deserves the title?

Running water.

You can rest assured that any time you turn a knob or faucet in Farmington, you will be met with clean, running water available for drinking, cooking, bathing and other essential tasks.

Leave Farmington, and the assurance gets a little blurry.

Running water is not on the radar for much of the Navajo Nation. Many residents are forced to haul water from far-off wells to meet their daily needs, and the water quality can be dubious at best.

The Navajo people deserve clean running water like the rest of us.

The federal government thinks so, and as part of the Animas-La Plata project, the Nation took one step closer Thursday to crossing running water off of its to-do list at the groundbreaking of the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline.

Stretching for 29 miles and costing

$60 million dollars, the pipeline will quadruple the amount of water available to Navajo chapters. Not only will this benefit residents and keep them from making daily treks to wells, but the promise of water also will open up more land to future housing projects and economic development, something the Nation sorely needs.

Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. described the pipeline as something that could bring border towns and the Nation closer together.

He's right in more ways than one.

The pipeline has become a mutual investment among major powers in the Four Corners. The Navajo Nation, the city of Farmington, Sam Juan County, the state and the federal government all are involved in making this pipeline a reality.

The pipeline is far from being a reality. Thursday only was the groundbreaking for a four-year construction that won't be complete until 2012. Problems could arise along the way, and we call upon the pipeline's supporters to continue their support until the project is completely finished.

After all, people always will need water. In today's world, they should not have to go without it.