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Water system's funding drops

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System will receive $1,996,000 in federal funding for 2011, a record low since the project's initial authorization fund in 2001.

"The good news is this funding will allow Lewis & Clark to keep the lights on," said executive director Troy Larson. "The bad news is that it will only allow Lewis & Clark to keep the lights on."

Twenty member cities and rural water systems have already paid 99.7 percent of their cost share, putting $153.5 million toward the project. The federal government has paid $202.1 million, or 50.9 percent of its cost share.

The 2011 funding will not cover half the inflation costs of delaying the project another year, said board chairman Red Arndt of Luverne.