Should Minn. lawmakers allocate $70 million to tap water from South Dakota?

The Lewis and Clark water project draws water from the Missouri River in South Dakota and at this point carries it about 60 miles to the Minnesota border (shown in blue). To complete the project, another 60 miles or so of pipeline must be built in Minnesota. That will cost about $70 million and so far the work has not been funded. Meanwhile, Marshall this spring is building a 27-mile pipeline to bring water from a new wells. MPR News

MPR News reporter Mark Steil has the latest in Beneath the Surface: Minnesota’s Pending Groundwater Challenge

Heavy irrigation in farm country and increasing demand in the Twin Cities have raised recent concern among many Minnesotans about the adequacy of their water supplies.

It’s an old problem in southwestern Minnesota, but one that is getting more expensive to solve.

Just this spring, for example, the city of Marshall is laying a $13 million, 27-mile pipe to bring water to its residents and businesses. Not far away, the small town of Mountain Lake, where water levels have dropped, plans this summer to spend a half million dollars for a new well and even then might not get the quality it would like. And the cities of Worthington and Luverne are hoping to convince the Legislature in coming weeks to spend nearly $70 million to let them bring water from South Dakota.

Some worry that the region’s ability to grow economically is at stake. On the other hand, the sense of water awareness many residents and businesses here have developed over the years may be a lesson for other Minnesotans. [Full story]

Today’s Question: Should Minnesota lawmakers allocate $70 million to tap water from South Dakota?