The City of Madison is the only South Dakota member of the Lewis and Clark Rural Water system who isn’t receiving water yet through the pipeline, which started delivering water to eleven of its members earlier this week. Madison is one of nine members who has pre-paid for its share of the project, but is still waiting for the project to be completed, and the main reason for the delay is the lack of federal funding for the project. Lewis and Clark Executive Director Troy Larson was in Washington, D.C. Tuesday testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of a bill that would help the Lewis & Clark and other rural water projects.
Larson said this bill would help these water projects that have been languishing for years.
Larson said he emphasized to the Senate Committee yesterday that not only does the federal government need to hold up its end of funding for the water project for the communities involved, but to help out the drought situation in the region as well.
Larson said he is also meeting with the Congressional delegation from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa while he is in Washington, D.C. He said he understands that the bill is a long shot, but thinks it has a chance.
South Dakota Senator John Thune and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley also serve on the Finance Committee. Larson encourages Madison area residents to continue to thank the state’s delegation for their support, but to also let them know how critically important this project is to bring drinking water to the city of Madison.