Skip to main content

Southwestern MN communities weigh spending to finish 'pipeline to nowhere'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A long-delayed project designed to bring Missouri River water to southwestern Minnesota is at a crossroads.

As MPR reports, the Lewis & Clark water project has been hamstrung by cutbacks in federal funding. This week the 20 local entities in three states that comprise the project's board will vote on whether to fund the completion themselves with hopes of eventually getting reimbursed by the feds.

The 20 cities and rural water districts are in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. After more than a decade, MPR says the project is delivering water to 11 of the 20. But Minnesota's two cities (Worthington and Luverne) and three counties (Lincoln, Pipestone, and Rock) are not among them.

KELO-TV recently found divergent opinions on the question of whether to finish the project with local dollars. Luverne's city administrator said that city wants to keep the project moving, but the Rock County Rural Water District decided to draw a line against any additional spending.

KTIV-TV visited Hull, Iowa, which has a particular frustration about the project dragging on for more than a decade. A cheese plant in that city is poised for a major expansion but can't unless the water supply is increased, the station reports.

The Lewis & Clark board is scheduled to vote at a Thursday meeting.

Here's an overview of the plan from the project's website.

And, from the Minnesota Health Department's archive, a 1996 article laying out the need for improving the water supply in that region and explaining how Lewis & Clark planned to do it.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.


Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Carson McCoy

Charges: Man stole handgun from house, fired at motorcyclists from car

A chaotic scene that led to a police chase unfolded after an alleged burglary in Ham Lake.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

BCA's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crime in MN spiked in 2021

The report details violent crime trends in the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 4.49.22 PM

Search for vulnerable man, 66, missing from Brooklyn Park

Alex Ramirez was last seen in the early hours of Thursday morning.