Waterflow, New Mexico
Waterflow is an unincorporated community in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States on the north side of the San Juan River. It is immediately west of Fruitland and north across the river from the Navajo Indian Reservation. It is east of Shiprock.
Waterflow is located at .
The area now known as Waterflow is traditional Navajo territory. This place was called Chʼį́įdii Łichííʼ (Red Devil) in reference to Walter Stallings who operated a trading post in the area; nowadays, Tséyaa Akʼahí (beneath-rock oil) seems to be another designation in reference to the nearby oil fields, as can be seen on billboards in the area (pictured).
The early Anglo settlers in this area were predominantly Mormon, who called the area Jewett Valley. Since 1982, the Latter-day Saints have serviced their people in this area through the Kirtland Stake which covers from Kirtland west to Shiprock, New Mexico and beyond.
In 2000, Waterflow reported a total population of 1,606 people. 798 were male, and 808 were female. 295 identified themselves as White, 1 identified themselves as Black, 1 identified themselves as Asian, 59 were Hispanic, and 1,251 were Navajo. 620 speak a language other than English at home. With 551 housing units and a land area of 219.58 sq. miles, there are approximately 7.31 people per sq. mile in Waterflow.
While convenient for employment, this proximity has caused several large environmental issues. Because of this, air quality in Waterflow is 1 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). This is based on ozone alert days and number of pollutants in the air. Groundwater near the San Juan coal mine in Waterflow is extremely polluted according to both the Sierra Club and New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division.
The Sierra Club alleges that the San Juan Coal Company has improperly dumped more than 40 million tons of coal ash and sludge into unlined pits, resulting in the contamination of waterways and wells near the mine.
The group says that the waste, and the contaminated water, pose a danger to livestock, wildlife and families in the area, and in early December, the Sierra Club announced that it intends to sue the owners of the San Juan Coal Company.
The company denies responsibility for the contamination.
Important area businesses
- BHP Billiton
- Bob French Navajo Rugs
- Circle W Pawn
- High Country Transportation CO
- Hogback Shopping Center
- Hogback Trading Co
- Original Sweetmeat Inc., founded 1974
- PNM San Juan Generating Station
- San Juan Coal CO Inc
- Thriftway Marketing Corporation NO 270
- United States Post Office, zip code 87421
- Valley Hair Care
- Valley Trading Post
- Wheeler Farms
- Four Corners Generating Station
Central Consolidated Schools serves Waterflow as well as other communities in western San Juan County.
Notable people from Waterflow
- Sam Howell (NASA)
- Raymond G. Hunt (controversial local hero)
- Raymond G. Hunt II (leading local businessman, patron of the arts, environmental warrior)
- Raymond G. Hunt III (prominent local businessman)
- Raymond G. Hunt IV (heir apparent)
- Geoffrey Newman (local advocate)
- Miles Wheeler (land owner, farmer)
- Valerie Wheeler (land owner)
- Jared Wright (local activist)
- compare maps at  and  to see the location of Waterflow.
- Linford, Laurance D. Navajo places: history, legend, landscape. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City, UT: 2000. p278.
- Kirtland New Mexico Stake homepage
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- [dead link]
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