Sen. Thune has worked hard to secure access to safe, reliable drinking water, advance important flood control projects, and protect states water rights. 

Highlights of Sen. Thune’s Commitment to Water Infrastructure:

  • Fought to Authorize and Fund Numerous Water Projects That Benefit Communities Across South Dakota:
    • Sen. Thune authored legislation to authorize the Lewis & Clark Regional Water Project in 2000, and since that time has worked diligently to advance this project.
    • Sen. Thune worked to secure funding for water projects in Indian Country, including Mni Waste, serving the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, and Mni Wiconi, serving the Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, and Lower Brule Sioux tribes.
    • Sen. Thune also worked to advance the Big Sioux River Flood Control Project in Sioux Falls. Due to his work, in 2014, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed the city of Sioux Falls for advance contributions to this project.
  • Supports Federal Programs That Provide Tools to Communities to Ensure Access to Safe, Clean Drinking Water:
    • Sen. Thune has supported legislation to provide funding for programs such as the Source Water Protection Program, Circuit Rider Technical Assistance Program, and the state revolving loan funds, which all assist rural water systems across South Dakota.
  • Authored Legislation to Protect State Water Rights on the Missouri River by Blocking Efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Charge for Surplus Water:
    • During the 2014 consideration of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act, Sen. Thune authored a provision to restrict the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for a period of 10 years, from moving forward with its highly controversial proposal to restrict access to Missouri River water and charge users for surplus water taken from Missouri River reservoirs in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana.
    • This provision, which protects states’ rights and water users, was signed into law.