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Rapid City looks to the future to ensure freshwater needs are always met

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 5:44 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - On a daily basis, the world uses 10 billion *tons of freshwater water worldwide.

Though, not excessively, Rapid City contributes to that total with two water plants based in the City. As the population grows, so does the need freshwater, and the City is constantly looking to the future to ensure water needs are met.

Officials with the City say that they have a master plan that looks in increments of 5 years, 10 years and all the way to looking forward 100 years into the future of water needs. They say that groups are even looking into the possibility of bringing water from the Missouri River to the western side of South Dakota.

The plan monitors growth in a best and worst case scenario to ensure that even when horrible circumstances arise people will still have access to fresh water.

Jeffrey Crockett, Rapid City’s Water Superintendent says, “Our master plan, it monitors growth. Like I say, it does a best case and a worst case. So, it looks at if growth just skyrockets, ‘what are we going to need?’ It looks at if the economy goes bad, and growth goes way down, ‘can we put off building a new water treatment plant till a few years later?’ It’s looking at all of those things.”

Crockett says that the city runs checks for when the worst day for water is possible. Meaning, based on population needs or if a massive fire would need to be dealt with, when 80-percent of what the city can produce during a day would theoretically be used up... it’s time for a new water plant.

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