Budget reduces funds for Mni Wiconi water project

President Bush's fiscal year 2009 budget proposes to reduce funds for the Mni Wiconi water project in South Dakota.

The budget requests $10 million for maintenance and operation and $16.24 million for construction. Mike Watson, the head engineer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said that's not enough to keep the project on track.

Congress appropriated $28 million for Mni Wiconi for the current year. Watson said the project needs around $34 million in 2009.

When complete, the project will bring water to the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. Non-reservation communities are also being served.

The project began 20 years ago but still isn't complete. So far, $330 million has been spent in federal, tribal and state money, The Rapid City Journal reported.

Get the Story:
Bush budget a drought for water projects (The Rapid City Journal 2/5)

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