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WDRWS water intake analysis

West Dakota Regional Water System

South Dakota

About the Project

In 2021, a grass-roots organization consisting of counties, cities, regional water systems and Tribal entities in western South Dakota formed the non-profit Western Dakota Regional Water System (WDRWS) to plan for future water supply shortfalls.  A multi-disciplinary engineering team lead by AE2S will develop concepts and evaluate the feasibility of the WDRWS. The AE2S lead project team is developing concepts for locating an intake in the Missouri River or Lake Oahe and pipeline routes from the Missouri River to the Rapid City metro area. Additionally, feasibility of localized pipeline/reservoir networks throughout western South Dakota is also being evaluated for the potential to best use existing sources.

Feasibility Study

The WDRWS has requested Congress to authorize the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) to engage in the feasibility study efforts; once granted, WDRWS and the AE2S project team will work closely with the BoR through completion of the feasibility study to seek funding appropriations for construction of the regional project.

Project Details

Date: 2022-2026

Client: West Dakota Regional Water System (WDRWS)

Key Project Elements
  • AE2S Engineers developed concepts and evaluated the feasibility of the WDRWS
  • Work together with Client and Bureau of Reclamation to engage feasibility study efforts

Gathering Data and Outreach to Water Systems

A significant portion of this work involves data gathering and outreach to water systems throughout western South Dakota. The project team has facilitated meetings with specific stakeholders as well as public meetings to engage as many western South Dakotans as possible in the planning efforts for the future water supply. The AE2S project team includes engineering and communications staff with specific experience in public engagement for large infrastructure projects involving multiple stakeholders across a wide geography and has developed a communications plan detailing strategies for reaching all stakeholders and potential stakeholders.


water demand graph WDRWS

Asking the Right Questions

The culmination of this project will be a recommended approach to delivering a supplemental water supply to existing water systems in western South Dakota based on the answers to the current questions under study:

      1. Who Needs the Water?
      2. How Much Water is Needed?
      3. When is the Water Needed?
      4. What will it Cost?

Of the questions above, the direction that the project takes upon completion of the Feasibility Study/Concept Design will be dependent on the question of cost in particular.  Therefore, significant effort will be spent evaluating funding alternatives on both a global and individual system basis. It is anticipated that the Feasibility Study/Design Concepts will be completed by the close of 2026.

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West Dakota Regional Water System