Why are windmills a concern?
In the Southwest, windmills are used to pump water for farm use and drinking from water wells in remote and rural areas on the Navajo Nation. Windmills also pump water at livestock ponds and watering areas. There are an estimated 900 windmills on Navajo lands.
The windmills on Navajo lands are different from wind turbines, which are larger structures used as wind power sources. The blades of wind turbines collect the wind’s energy and convert it to electricity. Several areas of the Southwest have wind power availability. Wind turbines do not emit air pollution, produce solid waste, or discharge water.
Approximately 25 percent of the dwellings on the Navajo Nation do not have utilities. About 40 percent of the population does not have access to running water. In some areas, the only sources of water are windmill-driven pumps that store water in tanks. Windmills are developed primarily to pump water for livestock usage only. This water is not regulated or regularly tested for water quality.
Unregulated water pumped with windmills can contain contamination that is a danger to public health. It may contain arsenic, lead, iron, selenium, manganese, radium, uranium, and E. coli, a type of intestinal bacteria.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Last Updated: October 26, 2016