16 FEBRUARY 1978
Hopson’s Remarks on the Occasion
Marking the Completion
of Barrow’s Water Source Construction Project
Senator Stevens, Mrs. Stevens, Dr. Johnson, I want to welcome you and your associates to Barrow to help us inaugurate our new water works. Most people new to Barrow are surprised to hear that Barrow is the largest community in one of the largest of America’s desert environments. Water in Barrow is precious.
The engineers of the Indian Health Service’s Office of Environmental Health have earned a national reputation for innovation and excellence, and they may be the best of our government engineers. They have just completed Phase I of their Barrow Water and Sewer Project that will ultimately connect all of our homes to both water and sewer. But for now, we celebrate the completion of Barrow’s first pure water source, must like the village wells found in communities of poor, underdeveloped countries. But we are not a poor underdeveloped nation. Barrow is an American community, and American communities of this size have water and sewer systems. So, we must regard this newly-completed project as proof of the Government’s commitment to go the rest of the way and connect this water source to our homes so that we can enjoy running water and flush toilets like other Americans.
This project has enjoyed the steady support of Senator Stevens. Ted and Anne Stevens are old friends of the people of Barrow. Anne Stevens has often been out on the ice, as a guest at our spring whaling camps. Ted Stevens, more than any other single person in Washington D.C., gave us the political support we needed to protect our subsistence bowhead whaling. He lined up strong Congressional support behind our whaling, and he was able to make the Department of Commerce stop using the International Whaling Commission to ban our subsistence whaling. To all of you who worked to bring water to Barrow, we thank you, and we look now forward to the day when we can celebrate the completion of Barrow’s water and sewer utility system. So this occasion provides us with an opportunity to recognize Ted and Anne Stevens for the good friends of Barrow that they are.
Thank you for coming to Barrow.