Standing Rock Water Intake at Heart of the #NoDAPL Protests Moved Away From Pipeline Crossing


"Water protectors" complete a two-day canoe trip north of Cannon Ball, N.D., where Dakota Access Pipeline opponents are camping. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

Last year, when the violent #NoDAPL protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline were just beginning to heat up, a talking point often deployed by the pipeline opponents was the fact that an intake for the Standing Rock Sioux’s tribe’s water supply was just downstream from where the pipeline would cross the river at Fort Yates.

But, as I reported in September of last year, not mentioned in that talking point was that the water intake was set to be moved as a part of a years-long project by the federal government to improve the tribe’s water supply system. The new location would be roughly 70 miles south along the river near Mobridge, SD.

According to the Associated Press, that project has now been completed:

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has completed a pipeline connecting the North Dakota and South Dakota portions of a rural water delivery system.

The tribe completed the pipeline with help from the Bureau of Reclamation. The pipeline is part of the Standing Rock Rural Water Supply System.

Bureau of Reclamation officials I spoke with last year said the project – which ironically enough dealt with a pipeline connecting the North Dakota side of the Standing Rock reservation to the water system on the South Dakota side – said it was supposed to have been completed by the end of 2016. I guess they missed that deadline.

The officials also said that this project had nothing to do with the pipeline, having been in the works long before any controversy over DAPL was sparked.