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Advocate: Sioux Falls likely to increase use of Big Sioux surface water

Big Sioux River Dell Rapids.jpg
The Big Sioux River.

The attached interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

The Big Sioux River will play an even larger role in the future of southeastern South Dakotans’ water supply, according to a nonprofit.

Travis Entenman is Managing Director of Friends of the Big Sioux River. He said as Sioux Falls’ population grows, the city will have to increase its use of surface water from the river.

“Much of our drinking water comes from the Big Sioux [aquifer], if it’s not coming from Lewis and Clark,” Entenman said. “As we grow, we’re going to have to look at getting that water from somewhere else. So outside of building another pipeline from the Missouri River, do we get it from the surface of the Big Sioux River?”

According to Entenman, expanding the amount of water taken from the river's surface would present several challenges.

“If you get it from the surface of the Big Sioux River, how much is that going to cost to get it clean enough for human consumption?” Entenman said. “What does that price look like and who’s going to pay for that?”

This month, Entenman will give a talk about water conservation at the Big Sioux River and Sustainability Summit. He’ll focus on steps individuals can take to conserve water, as well as the economic value of clean water.

“I’m really concerned and looking at how we’re using our water, where we’re getting our water, and how we can conserve our water — to reuse it and allow for growth, but also not be tied down by lack of water use,” Entenman said.

The 2022 Big Sioux River and Sustainability Summit is held Dec. 8 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The event is hosted by the City of Sioux Falls.

Slater Dixon is a junior at Augustana University studying Government and Data Science. He was born in Sioux Falls and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
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