Responding to the severe contamination of the Rio Grande River that threatens human health and ceremonial uses of the water, the Pueblo was awarded "treatment as state" status in 1990. Subsequently, the Pueblo developed and implemented US EPA approved water quality standards that give it control over local and regional water issues as well as management of water quality improvement efforts. In 1997, the Pueblo of Sandia received EPA's "Partnership in Environmental Excellence Award" for "outstanding success in developing an environmental management program to protect and manage tribal resources." Most importantly, the Pueblo is acting to ensure the program's future success; by having the Pueblo's grade school students tour the river and test its water quality as part of the school science projects. The Pueblo of Sandia is helping to create a new generation of water quality guardians.
"Water Quality Standards." Honoring Nations: 1999 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2000. Report.
This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.