U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced today that the Mni Waste' Water Company in Eagle Butte will receive an additional grant and loan package from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, bringing total funding to $72.87 million since 2010. The funding, which includes a $7 million obligation from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, will allow for construction of a new raw water intake line, water treatment plant, and treated water main line to Eagle Butte.
"We have worked very hard for several years to get folks to understand how important this project is to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and surrounding area. USDA Rural Development has come through in a big way to address the tremendous need for upgraded drinking water infrastructure in one of the poorest areas of the country," said Johnson. "This expansion will enhance economic development, allow new housing construction to restart, and ensure healthcare facilities have access to reliable, safe water supplies. This is good for both the health of those in Indian Country and the local economies."
"Over 14,000 residents will benefit from the much needed infrastructure upgrades to the Mni Waste Water System," said Thune. "Our delegation's work to ensure that federal agencies assist in meeting the needs of both the tribe and surrounding counties will help provide residents with safe and clean drinking water. These infrastructure improvements will play a critical role in helping to address the housing shortage in the Eagle Butte area and encouraging economic development."
"This is a critical project for South Dakota, and I am pleased USDA Rural Development has been able to make this happen," said Rep. Noem. "Safe, reliable drinking water is something most of us take for granted, and now thousands of people in Indian Country and other rural communities will have expanded access to this basic need."
"USDA's support for projects like this one in Eagle Butte helps protect the environment, improves the health of rural residents, and ensures that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has safe, up-to-date facilities and equipment," said USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks. "Investments in water and wastewater improvements will spur economic growth, protect public health and lead to stronger rural communities here in South Dakota and around the country."
The current Mni Waste' water system is not able to meet the needs of the service area, which includes rural residents on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and portions of Meade and Perkins counties. The service area represents one of the most economically challenged areas of the country. When the new treatment plant and treated water line are finished, the water system will have additional capacity to meet current and future water demand. Treatment and delivery capacity will be 4.4 million gallons per day when the water treatment plant and transmission lines are completed.