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Federal appropriations bill funds more construction of Lewis and Clark water pipeline

16 inch staged pipe for the Madison pipeline
Courtesy of Lewis and Clark RWS
Sixteen-inch pipe staged for the Madison service line.

The appropriations bill signed Friday by President Biden allocates almost $22 million to ongoing construction of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. That is $4.5 million more than the previous fiscal year.

Lewis and Clark Regional Water System is a nonprofit organization that provides wholesale water to cities and rural water systems in southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota.

Current construction map of Lewis and Clark Regional Water Service lines
Courtesy of Lewis and Clark RWS
Current construction map of Lewis and Clark Regional Water System lines.

Construction on the system of wells and pipelines began over 20 years ago.

In addition to the appropriations bill funding, it will become clear in the next month how much money from the bipartisan infrastructure law will be allocated to the project.

The combined funding from both sources is expected to allow construction of 49 additional miles of pipeline. On top of the pipes being laid, the funding could potentially allow construction of a pump station near Hull, meter buildings at Sheldon and Sibley (all in Iowa), a ground storage reservoir near Madison, and more.

Lewis and Clark Regional Water System estimates that when the project is completed, over 300,000 people in the area will benefit from it.

In a press release, Executive Director Troy Larson thanked members of Congress for working across party lines and state borders to secure funding.

"The $21.914 million was from the congressionally directed spending requests made by Senators John Thune, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Rounds and Tina Smith. Strong support for increased funding was also provided by Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, as well as Representatives Dusty Johnson, Randy Feenstra, Michelle Fischbach and the late Jim Hagedorn. We cannot thank these four senators enough for including Lewis & Clark in their congressional directed spending requests, as well as to the entire tristate congressional delegation for going to bat for us once again,” Larson said.

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