Recent Press Releases

Thune Praises Opening of Mni Waste, Water Intake

New Intake Ensures Steady Flow of Clean Water to 14,000 Residents

September 4, 2007

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today issued the following statement regarding the dedication of the new water intake that will provide drinking water to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and residents in Dewey, Ziebach, Perkins and Meade counties:

"The new water intake will provide clean, reliable drinking water for over 14,000 South Dakotans. I am pleased to see the level of commitment that went into keeping the water system running despite the continued drought conditions and low water levels on the Cheyenne River.

"The new water intake is the result of over two years of hard work by tribal leaders, the Army Corps of Engineers, and state and federal officials. This project underscores the tremendous work that can be done when various agencies and officials coordinate to get the job done."

Over the past two years, Senator Thune worked to secure $8.5 million in emergency federal funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the project. He also requested and received an additional $1 million from the Bureau of Indian Affairs last September that was necessary to cover increased project costs. The previous water intake which pumped water to 14,000 residents in the state was at risk of running dry because of persistent drought conditions and low water levels on the Cheyenne River. Relocating the water intake to deeper water on Lake Oahe will ensure a steady source of water for thousands of families. A formal dedication for this project was held yesterday at the new water intake site followed by a traditional Lakota ceremony in Eagle Butte.