Aberdeen hopes to spend $ 334 million in mostly federal money to pull 44 million gallons of water per day from the Missouri River to hydrate northeastern South Dakota. Rapid City leads Black Hills interests in pitch at spend more than five times more to pull Big Mo H2O the other way:
Mayors Steve Allender of Rapid City, Larry Larson of Box Elder and Teresa Hall of New Underwood spoke about the need to work together as a region to bring water from the Missouri River to western South Dakota during the summit. “Water is our future”.
Panelists throughout the event discussed funding, what already exists to move the project forward, and the need to build a 171 mile system to bring water to the area. The project has an estimated cost of $ 1.87 billion [Siandhara Bonnet, “Mayors, Lawmakers Make Pitch to Spend $1.8 Billion for Missouri River Water,” Rapid City Journal, 2021.12.01].
At these stages, she says they encourage people to come together, something [SD School of Mines & Technology Scott] Kenner says it’s vital to prepare for the future.
“We have to see ourselves as an area that uses the Black Hills. Water resources in the Black Hills, ”says Kenner,“ because it’s not me who gets mine, it’s us who manage the resources we all use.
“If you want to be alone. Then, Kenner adds, you’re going to fend for yourself. It’s a more difficult place than working with a community ” [Jeffrey Lindblom, “Connecting the Missouri River, Addressing Western South Dakota’s Future Water Needs,” KOTA-TC, 2021.12.01].
It will take a lot more community effort – that is, investment from the federal government – to get the water from the Missouri River up to Rapid City. As I noted in my November 19 report on Aberdeen’s mega-agua proposal, the Noem administration proposed spending $ 600 million on American Rescue Plan Act dollars (this is the first wave of support President Biden has given us, despite our The rejection of the Republican leaders of this plan). The state has received nearly 250 requests for funding in this tranche totaling more than $ 3.2 billion.
As Rapid City waits for pennies from Washington via Pierre, residents of Black Hills may consider conserving water. KOTA notes that Rapid City’s per capita water consumption is 168 gallons per day. A few weeks ago, NPR reported that the California city of Heraldsburg responded to the drought by limit residents’ water consumption to 74 gallons per day. A retired couple discovered they could far exceed this conservation goal:
EZRA DAVID ROMERO, BYLINE: In June, the wine town of Healdsburg set a limit – just 74 gallons of water per day for each resident, about half of normal use. This created a kind of competition for retirees Merrilyn Joyce and John Diniakos.
JOHN DINIAKOS: I take a shower every two days, sometimes every three days.
ROMERO: But Joyce says she’s winning their water war.
MERRILYN JOYCE DINIAKOS: Because I do laundry a lot less often.
ROMERO: The couple have reduced their combined water use to just 24 gallons per day, a fraction of what they are allowed. They use a phone app called Flume, bought with the help of a city discount, which, through a meter, tells them how much water they use per minute.
MR DINIAKOS: So John just took a shower and that shows you how much water he used.
ROMERO: A little less than two gallons of water, all taken in a bucket.
M DINIAKOS: And then we save this water and use it for something else [Ezra David Romero, “How One California City Cut Its Water Use in Half,” NPR: Morning Edition, 2021.11.16].
Spending $ 1.87 billion in mostly federal money hauling water 170 miles from the river to the hills, or taking shorter showers, which you think is the more robust conservative solution?
Don’t waste, don’t want to.