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Issue Position: Water

Issue Position

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Location: Unknown

New Orleans thought they could act as if their local government was all fun and games. And they could…until Katrina. Until then, they thought the Feds would take care of any real problems. But the feds did not come in and usurp authority from the local government. Even when New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, was asked what he should have done differently, his only retrospective solution was to say, "I would have screamed louder." Obviously screaming louder would not have helped. But preparedness would have.

Sioux Falls needs to prepare for a problem that we have known about since the 1970's, i.e., water….more specifically the shortage of it. Sioux Falls takes its water from surface systems and smaller aquifers. My father was a South Dakota State Geologist who specialized in our water. I recall being warned about Sioux Falls running out of water when I was 17 years old. I thought this would have been taken care of by the time I was 48. Several miles of pipelines have been laid from the Lewis and Clark aquifer by Vermillion SD. Some work has been done for Sioux Falls to float bonds so we can begin laying the pipe from our end. But we cannot depend on the Feds to fund all of this. We have about half of the money that we thought they would give us and we have no assurance the rest will come in. But we cannot wait. We cannot waste time in the courts trying to claim the pipeline is not a pipeline (this stalled the process because someone wanted to lay the pipe closer than 200 feet from a dwelling, which is against the law). We can work within the law by using the Bureau of Land management to get the easements and keep going. We can also save time and possibly save money by researching newer and faster ways of welding the pipes.

I have a degree in Biology. I can read and understand research papers in this arena. I also know how to ask the hard questions if my research and the project at hand do not jibe. Bottom line - I want water sooner than later and cheaper rather than costly.


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