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Released On: October 14, 2009

Bureau of Reclamation Awards More than $41 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Investment in Tribal Rural Water Projects in North Dakota and South Dakota

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of The Department of the Interior, has awarded $41.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for several Tribal water projects in North Dakota and South Dakota.

The projects will be in the Oglala Sioux Tribe; Lower Brule Sioux Tribe; Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe communities.

"The nearly $42 million investment of recovery funds made by the Department of the Interior through President Obama's economic recovery plan will facilitate getting clean water to our Nation's first people," said Reclamation's Commissioner Michael L. Connor.

In response to the water crisis, across the West, Reclamation will spend $200 million on construction of rural water projects for tribal and non-tribal rural water system construction with an emphasis on water intakes and water treatment plants. These investments will help address public health needs of rural and Native communities and create significant economic development in these distressed areas. The infusion of ARRA funding will allow projects authorized by Congress to deliver water sooner than would otherwise be the case.

Oglala Sioux Tribe - $14.7 million investment

  • The first project was awarded for $2.012 million and will include the installation of backup generators and chloramination/chlorine booster systems on the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply Core System. The backup generators will ensure continuity of water service during power outages and the chloramination/chlorine booster systems will improve the quality of drinking water.
  • The second project was awarded for $12.708 million and will include rural water system improvement on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The improvement will include the rehabilitation of water systems at seven Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, the installation of backup generators at key water delivery points within the rural water system, the installation of chloramination/chlorine booster systems to improve the quality of drinking water and the installation of additional ground water wells.

Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota - $6.4 million investment

  • Three Fort Berthold Rural Water Systems will be continued through this funding. The first project expands the existing Four Bears water treatment plant by enlarging the building and increasing the size of the clearwell reservoir. The second project increases the treatment capacity of the Four Bears plant from 200 gallons per minute (gpm) to 700 gpm using a membrane treatment process. The third project expands the existing Mandaree water treatment plant by enlarging the building and increasing the size of the clearwell reservoir.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - $18.9 million investment

  • This funding will be used on three rural water system projects; the first project constructs the new Standing Rock water treatment plant which will eventually provide quality drinking water to the whole Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The second project will complete the construction of the Indian Memorial intake pump station and the third project will complete construction of the raw water pipeline. The intake pump station and raw water pipeline convey Missouri River water to the new Standing Rock water treatment plant.

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe - $1.8 million investment

  • The first project expands the water treatment plant contact basin to improve the quality of drinking water within the Lower Brule system. The other projects will extend the water treatment plant intake to improve raw water quality, construct a booster station on the Grass Rope pipeline to improve system pressure, install a backup generator at the Kennebec booster station to improve system reliability and install riprap at the water treatment plant intake site to protect it from wave and ice damage.

Department of the Interior water infrastructure investments in these states are part of the $1 billion nationwide effort that Interior will channel under the ARRA to restore aging infrastructure, repair aging dams, provide drought relief and improve conservation of water.

The purposes of the ARRA are, among others, to quickly and prudently commence activities which preserve and create jobs, promote economic recovery, and to invest in infrastructure by providing long-term economic benefits. Recovery Act funding must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2010.

Secretary Salazar has committed to quick and responsible implementation of the $3 billion in recovery funds, which will be used by the Department of the Interior and its agencies.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.