Reclamation Announces Five Rural Water Supply Program Appraisal Reports

Appraisal Reports Completed for Projects in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: August 11, 2011

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor today released five appraisal reports for projects in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota under the Rural Water Supply Program. These appraisal reports are the first to reach this step in the program and indicate that there are potentially viable water supply options in rural communities that warrant a more detailed investigation through a feasibility study.

"Reclamation is pleased to help rural communities develop innovative and creative solutions to finding new, reliable water sources," said Commissioner Connor. "Completing these appraisal studies is an important step that Reclamation and these rural communities have taken together to identify and secure adequate and affordable clean water supplies."

The Rural Water Supply Program enables Reclamation to assist rural communities and Tribes in the western United States with the planning and design of cost-effective projects to develop and deliver potable water supplies.

The approved appraisal reports are:

  • Douglas County Rural Water Project Appraisal Report (Central Colorado)
  • Southern Black Hills Regional Water System Appraisal Report (Black Hills area of South Dakota: includes Southern Pennington County, Custer County and Fall River County)
  • Northeast Nebraska Water Supply System Appraisal Report (Knox County: includes the West Knox Rural Water System, Cedar-Knox Rural Water System, Santee Sioux Nation, city of Creighton, village of Niobrara and village of Center)
  • Dry-Redwater Rural Water System Appraisal Report (East-central Montana: includes the towns of Circle, Richey, Jordan and Fairview; the unincorporated town of Lambert; and the water districts of Highland Park, Forrest Park, Spring Grove and Whispering Tree)
  • Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System Appraisal Report (Central Montana: includes the towns of Harlowton and Roundup, Moore, Hobson, Utica, Buffalo, Straw, Judith Gap, Ryegate, Lavina, Melstone and Musselshell)

These five projects are now eligible to conduct feasibility studies. If these projects seek Reclamation assistance with the feasibility study, they may apply under the next Funding Opportunity Announcement. They may also develop the feasibility study independent of Reclamation and then submit it for approval.

The Rural Water Supply Program provides for the preparation of appraisal investigations and feasibility studies for rural water supply projects intended to serve a community or group of communities with domestic, industrial and municipal water. The appraisal investigations and feasibility studies may be prepared with the assistance of Reclamation or may be prepared independently by rural communities or Tribes.

The reports may be viewed at

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Rural Water Program