How Rapid Creek in the Black Hills links to Rapid City's water supply - and why we must protect it from destructive mining.
Featured on South Dakota Standard - Dr. Lilias Jarding writes:
Mniluzahan (Rapid Creek) is the source of Rapid City’s and Ellsworth Air Force Base’s water supply. It also supplies water for reservations, rural areas, and irrigation systems along its route to the Cheyenne River and eventually the Missouri River. Rapid Creek is critical to the economy, health, and very survival of South Dakota’s second-largest city and other western South Dakota communities.
Some of the water that Rapid City uses flows directly down the Creek and into a City water treatment plant. At the plant, it receives treatment and is piped out to the community. Other water takes a detour – it comes down the Creek as far as Dark Canyon, just west of town. It then drops through the open rock layers at the bottom of the Creek and flows into underground aquifers. (Think of an aquifer as a giant underground lake that flows.) The two aquifers the water flows into are called the Madison aquifer and the Minnelusa aquifer. The City has wells drilled into these aquifers, which then pump the water back to the surface for residents to use. (See Drawing above)
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That’s why they call it “fishing” and not “catching.”
It’s an old angling cliche, used sometimes to soothe the wounded spirit of an angler skunked.
But it’s true, too. There’s no guarantee when a fly — even one astutely selected and artfully cast — settles gently on the water of a moving stream that a fish will rise and take it. Nor should there be such a guarantee.
Clean water activists kick off a petition drive Tuesday to make a watershed a recreation area.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Clean water activists want Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Dusty Johnson to sponsor legislation to designate the Rapid Creek water shed west of Rapid City as a recreation area and to withdraw mineral claims in the area.
Justin Herreman, the spokesperson of the Rapid Creek Watershed Action, said it would protect the water supply for Rapid City and Box Elder as well as protect a Lakota cultural site.
He says 25 percent of this water shed has mining claims on it.
Herreman said it can also help the local economy. .... read more.