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ASRWSS, Dry Prairie Welcome High-Level Department Of Interior Representatives

Representatives from the Assiniboine Sioux Rural Water Supply System and Dry Prairie Rural Water had the opportunity to host an informational meeting and tour with high-level representatives from the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C.

Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Tanya Trujillo and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton, as well as numerous regional office and area office staff from Billings and the Dakotas, traveled to the water treatment plant for the momentous occasion.

ASRWSS vice-chairman Bob McAnally provided a bit of water right history and Ashleigh Weeks and Joni Sherman, general managers for the ASRWSS and DPRW systems respectively, provided an update of on-going construction and the timeline for completion.

The critical need for the water as well as the life-changing benefits of clean, plentiful, drinking water was enumerated.

The group was then given a tour of the impressive water treatment facilities.

The construction cost ceiling for the combined project is currently $375 million. The group took the opportunity to express their appreciation to the commissioner and assistant secretary for providing an additional $39 million in fiscal year 2022 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding. The administration’s budget only provided $17 million for fiscal year 2022.

Combined, the $56 million will bring the projects within $14 million of the final funding amount needed for completion of construction. ASRWSS and DPRW will look to Reclamation in fiscal year 2023 for the final funding needed.

Even with all funds in hand, the construction to complete the remaining areas of the system is expected to continue until the end of 2025.

Touton and Trujillo were each honored with the gift of a traditional star quilt from ASRWSS and DPRW as a way of thanking them both for taking the time to come and see the benefits first-hand of all the funding that has come from Congress through the Bureau of Reclamation to the project.

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