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Upper Cheyenne Water Use Shut Off


South Dakota officials issued the first drought related water shut off of the year.   The move cuts off about 50 junior water rights holders on the Cheyenne River above Angostura Reservoir.    The reservoir is now at 65% capacity.  The water is kept in storage for downstream users in the Angostura Irrigation District.

Garland Erbele is with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  He says there could be more drought related shut off orders issued in the coming year.

“Back in the early 2000’s there where we had that dry period, we had shut off orders on the Cheyenne River, the Belle Fourche River, a lot of the creeks coming out of the Black Hills, the James River, the Big Sioux River.  So, if the drought is severe enough the potential exists to have more shut off orders,” says Erbele. 

Erbele adds that the James and Big Sioux Rivers also saw shut off orders late last summer.  

Meanwhile Weather Service officials say the long term forecast calls for normal precipitation this spring–which they say won’t be enough to break the drought.

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