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Statement of Jack Garner, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Operations
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Department of the Interior
Before the
Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Water and Power
U.S. House of Representatives
on
H.R. 3967
The Pactola Reservoir Reallocation Authorization Act of 2005

November 09, 2005

My name is Jack Garner. As Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, I am pleased to appear today in support of H.R. 3967, the Pactola Reservoir Reallocation Authorization Act of 2005.

Mr. Chairman, H.R. 3967 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to reallocate construction costs of Pactola Dam and Reservoir, Rapid Valley Unit, and the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, South Dakota, to municipal, industrial, and fish and wildlife purposes. This reallocation reflects the increasing water demands from Pactola Reservoir for municipal and industrial purposes, specifically within Rapid City and throughout the surrounding areas, and for fish and wildlife purposes in and along Rapid Creek.

Background

Rapid Valley Unit is served, in part, by the Pactola Reservoir. Located on Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota approximately 15 miles west of Rapid City, Pactola was constructed between 1952 and 1956. The Rapid Valley Irrigation District (District) consists of 8,900 acres of privately developed land and associated irrigation diversion and supply works. The irrigable land is situated along Rapid Creek immediately downstream of the City. Pactola Reservoir supplemented the Districts' 8,000 acre-foot water supply from Deerfield Dam. The Rapid Valley Unit provides a full water supply for Rapid City (including Ellsworth Air Force Base), flood protection, recreation, and fish and wildlife.

On October 20, 1952, the City entered into a 40-year water service contract for municipal and industrial water supply from Pactola Reservoir. Since the contract's expiration in 1992, annual water service contracts have been issued to provide water to the City until a replacement contract can be executed. The District also executed a 40-year water service contract with the U.S. on January 6, 1961, for a supplemental irrigation water supply from Pactola Reservoir. This contract expired in 2001 and the District decided to not renew it. The District will rely on its natural flow rights, return flows from the City's water treatment plant, water purchased from the City, and water from the Deerfield Dam and Reservoir.

Reclamation has negotiated a new repayment contract with Rapid City. However, the McGovern Amendment to the Department of Energy Organization Act prohibits Reclamation from reallocating multipurpose construction costs without specific Congressional approval. Therefore, execution of the negotiated contract is contingent on authority from Congress to reallocate the construction costs of Pactola Dam and Reservoir currently allocated to irrigation purposes to municipal, industrial, and fish and wildlife purposes.

Conclusion

Passage of this Act will provide Reclamation with authority to enter into a new long-term contract with Rapid City to provide a water storage right of 49,000 acre-feet in Pactola Reservoir. This contract will secure a reliable water supply for the city and the surrounding area to support expected growth well into the future. Reclamation will retain 6,000 acre feet of storage in the reservoir to be used for fish and wildlife, and other authorized beneficial purposes.

I am pleased to answer any questions.