A combination of federal and state funding has the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System looking to make big strides forward over the next couple of years.

Nearly $15 million ($14.875M) was awarded by the Bureau of Reclamation toward the project in Fiscal Year 2018 which is about 50 percent more than last year. Coupled with a federal funding advance of almost $5 million ($4.75M) from the Iowa legislature, Executive Director Troy Larson is understandably optimistic.

“The good news is the communities of Sioux Center and Hull who have waited since 1990 for this water, it’s nice to project that if all goes according to plan we believe those two communities will be connected by the end of 2022. Up until recently, we couldn’t even tell them what decade they would be connected.”

The FY18 funding will open the channel toward building a section of pipeline from Beresford to the Big Sioux River and from Sioux Center, Iowa going west.

In terms of the entire project which has been plodding along, Larson says progress has been made, but Lewis and Clark is not to the end stage yet.

“In terms of percentage, our engineers did some updating and we are currently 75 percent complete with construction. With this latest round of funding, once all that is in the ground, we will be eighty percent complete. We’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Larson anticipates that by year’s end, Worthington Minnesota will be connected to the system. Lewis and Clark serves almost three hundred thousand people in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

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