Rural drinking water projects get $43 million federal boost

June 25, 2024

Federal support is on the way to help with completing six ongoing projects aimed at delivering clean drinking water to rural communities.

The Department of the Interior said a $43 million investment made available through the Bureau of Reclamation would support projects already under construction or in the planning phase in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.

The investment builds on $733 million previously announced for rural water projects from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the DOI said.

Projects include new water delivery pipelines for tribal communities and reservations and new water sources such as groundwater wells.

“Across the country, in rural and tribal communities, pipes and treatment plants are aging, and polluted drinking water endangers public health.” Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said. “The Bureau of Reclamation is committed to collaborating with impacted communities to solve these everyday challenges.”

Projects include:

  • $13 million for the Rocky Boys/North Central Montana Rural Water System in Montana to plan and design upcoming on-reservation water delivery pipelines. This builds on more than $146 million previously committed through the BIL for the Tribe to complete the final two segments of the Core Pipeline.  Funding will also be used to continue construction of non-core segments, such as the town of Chester, Montana.
  • $10 million for the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota to support expansion of the water treatment plant. This builds on $142.5 million previously committed through the BIL to complete water service to the cities of Sheldon and Madison, Iowa, the DOI said. The funding also supported two-meter buildings, a pump station and several main service pipelines. 
  • $9.8 million for the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie in Montana to fund completion of the Pines Service Area Project. $54 million through the BIL is being used in the Fort Peck-Dry Prairie Rural Water System to complete the final two phases of service lines within the reservation. Dry Prairie is completing service lines in the Scobey/Flaxville service areas and the Outlook/Westby service areas.
  • $5 million for the Jicarilla-Apache Nation to continue data collection and design work. This builds on $22 million previously committed through the BIL for the design and construction of project components of the previous phase of the rural water system.
  • $2.6 million for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Project to continue construction on a raw water pipeline. This builds on more than $229 million previously committed through the BIL for previous work on a large segment of the project to bring potable water to more than 75,800 people in eastern New Mexico. 
  • $2.5 million for the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System in Montana for additional groundwater wells, and the planning and design of Phase 5, service to the Hobson, Montana community. This builds on $65 million previously committed through the BIL to complete Phase 2 to support the delivery of water to the community of Roundup this fall.

Photo courtesy of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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