Rural Water Projects

Contact: Reclamation Public Affairs

Current data indicate millions of Americans still live without safe drinking water. Congress specifically authorized Reclamation to undertake the design and construction of several projects intended to deliver potable water supplies to specific rural communities in the West. The five projects for which funding is requested in the FY 2019 President's Budget are: the rural water component of the Pick Sloan-Missouri Basin Program - Garrison Diversion Unit (North Dakota), Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System (Montana), and Rocky Boy's/North Central Rural Water System (Montana), Mni Wiconi Project (South Dakota), and the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa).

Reclamation is continuing to make progress on authorized rural water projects consistent with current fiscal and resource constraints with the goal of delivering potable water to residents within the rural water project areas. Emphasis in the FY 2019 Budget is on operation and maintenance of completed tribal project facilities and construction of new facilities benefiting tribes.


The FY 2019 Budget provides $34 million in funding for Reclamation's Rural Water Projects. There are two components for rural water funding, construction and, where statutorily required, tribal operations and maintenance (O&M). This request includes $13.8 million for ongoing construction on authorized rural water construction projects. The total amount also includes $20.2 million for O&M of tribal features for two projects -- the Mni Wiconi Project and Garrison Diversion Unit. Funding in FY 2019 for the rural water projects is described below:


  • Garrison Diversion Unit, ND - This municipal, rural, and industrial water supply program provides benefits statewide, including four Indian reservations. Tribal projects are being constructed on the Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, Spirit Lake, and Turtle Mountain Indian Reservations. Non- tribal projects are located throughout the state, including the Northwest Area Water Supply Project and the Southwest Pipeline Project. FY 2019 funding of $5.0 million for the rural water construction component of this project is focused on tribal features. The request also includes $6.7 million for the operation and maintenance of tribal features.
  • Fort Peck Reservation / Dry Prairie Rural Water System, MT - This project is located in northeastern Montana. Groundwater from shallow alluvial aquifers is currently the primary water source for the municipal systems. The regional rural water project provides for a single water treatment plant located on the Missouri River, near Wolf Point, Montana, and will distribute water through 3,200 miles of pipeline. FY 2019 funding for construction for this project is $4.7 million, focused on tribal features.
  • Rocky Boy's / North Central Montana Rural Water System, MT - This project is a regional water system in coordination with the Chippewa Cree Tribe (Tribe) of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority (Authority). A core pipeline will provide potable water from Tiber Reservoir to the Rocky Boy's Reservation, while non-core pipelines will serve 21 surrounding towns and/or rural water districts. The rural water system will provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure existing water systems are in compliance with Federal Safe Drinking Water Act regulations. FY 2019 funding for construction, focused on tribal features, for this project is $4.0 million.
  • Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, SD, IA, MN - This project is located in the southeast corner of South Dakota, the southwest corner of Minnesota, and the northwest corner of Iowa. Raw water is collected from alluvial aquifers near the Missouri River in South Dakota, treated, and distributed through a network of pipelines, pump stations and storage reservoirs. The project will deliver water to 20 existing rural water systems and municipalities throughout the region (including the City of Sioux Falls). FY 2019 funding for construction for this project is $100,000.
  • Mni Wiconi Rural Water System, SD - This municipal, rural, and industrial project provides benefits to both tribal and non-tribal populations. Responsibilities of the Secretary under the Act include the operation and maintenance of existing water systems and appurtenant facilities on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. The FY 2019 request includes $13.5 million for the operation and maintenance of tribal features as construction of the project is complete.

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018