Multiple small dams and ponding are the proper and practical approach to the general population of and about Watertown and all communities to the south. This practice is environmentally friendly, less expensive to construct and has less environmental impact than any other design to date. This cost effective and simple procedure is being reviewed by many watershed areas and water project districts throughout the state and nation.
The Lake Pelican Water Project District applied to The Water Rights Board for a pen-nit to build the first small dam to be constructed as a working demonstration. Routine procedure found the information for the permit printed in the Watertown Public Opinion for public review. The one and only party who entered an objection was the mayor of the City of Watertown.
The South Dakota Water Rights Board met to hear the arguments for the permit at the Joe Foss Building in Pierre on September 25, 2002.After all arguments were heard, The Water Rights Board by a vote of 5 to 0 voted to approve the permit request and also, by a vote of 5 to 0 voted to reject the request for a Environmental Impact Study (E. I. S.).
The Water Rights Board complimented the project and gave the small dam concept a green light to move forward.
The Lake Pelican Water Project District reminded the Board members that no E. I. S. was required for potentially more hazardous projects like the Watertown Ethanol Plant and the soon to be constructed ethanol plant at Aurora. Thus it makes the public wonder when the benefits to multiple small dams are numerous, cost is less, displacement of the agricultural sector and any ag business is nil, and flood control is professionally engineered; what is stimulating non cooperative action and negative thinking of just a few people? One of the Water Rights Board members said, “when farmers will tax themselves and get along, doesn’t that tell you something?”