Water management laws scrutinized

Farm Forum

Before the regional watershed task force comes to Aberdeen on July 1, the South Dakota Farmers Union wanted to find out what landowners in various regions think about existing water management laws.

That’s why the Farmers Union hosted a series of meetings in northeast South Dakota, including one that took place on June 19 in Aberdeen.

About 20 people met at IHOP Restaurant in Aberdeen to discuss several topics. The goal of the meeting wasn’t necessarily to figure out an immediate solution, but to get a dialogue going so that the Farmers Union can share the ideas with the task force, said Mike Traxinger, legislative director of the Farmers Union.

The meeting touched on a variety of topics, including:

·Should each county commission create a drainage board to address any disputes in the county?

·What’s the best way to address drainage issues that arise when they cross county lines?

·Should the Brown County Commission have pushed a little further when it was fixing the drainage systems after the recent floods?

·What are the major obstacles to creating a solution to the drainage problems along the James River?

·Is it worth funding an engineering study on the James River?

·Is there anything that can be done to stop North Dakota from dumping it’s drainage problems into South Dakota?

There were differing viewpoints on most of these issues, except for the problems with North Dakota. As one farmer put it, once that water crosses state lines, there’s not much anyone can do.

Follow @sfeldman_aan on Twitter.