The Lake Pelican Water Project District (LPWPD) was formed as a district in 1988 to improve thequality of the water in Lake Pelican. The district became a taxing entity in 1991. Since its formation almost 20 years ago, various projects have been done to improve the quality of water such as: fencing all the cattle away from the lake, shoreline stabilization and finally constructing a silt diversion weir in the inlet-outlet channel of the lake. This weir prevents 85% of the sedimentation from entering the lake. We have made great strides to improve the quality of the lake.
In 1998, the upper watershed landowners approached us to join with us to improve the water quality and get a handle on the water quantity in the Big Sioux River. The expansion of the Lake Pelican Water Project District to include the Upper Big Sioux River Drainage Basin was completed in May 1999, thus becoming the largest Water Project District in the State of South Dakota. It encompasses the entire watershed draining into the Sioux River that is north of Watertown and the area around Lake Pelican.
This adds up to approximately 220,000 acres of watershed. The District’s members and directors are agricultural producers, Lake Pelican residents and landowners living inside the district’s boundaries. These people are concerned and interested in both water quantity and its quality as it comes through the Sioux River system into Watertown, into our lakes and all communities to the south.