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series: Seeking Water From The Sun
air date: 12/30/12 6:30 AM
After 30 years off the Navajo Nation, Rosie Sekayumptewa returned to the homestead where three generations of her family have lived. She found the beauty and serenity she remembered-and the scarcity that had shaped her childhood. In Sekayumptewa's corner of the reservation, there is no access to safe, clean water. Almost forty percent of the Navajo Nation's residents drive hundreds of miles every month to haul water back to their homes, where they ration what they have and use scant gallons for washing, bathing, cooking and drinking. Sekayumptewa had helped her family haul water as a child, and when she returned to her home she found that fact of life unchanged. But water may be on the way. University of Arizona scientists are exploring how to use solar energy to make clean water. Their hope is to bring solar-based, "off the grid" water purification to the vast, 24,000-square-mile Navajo Nation and its residents. If their pilot project succeeds, access to safe and inexpensive water may finally become a reality for the Dine people. Seeking Water from the Sun takes viewers on a journey into the drama of scientific innovation and the harsh reality of life without water. It visits laboratories and homesteads, follows residents and scientists, all to explore the very human story of a very real need.
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