West Dakota Water Development District (WDWDD) has been active in water conservation and enhancement projects in western Pennington County since 1985.

Canyon Lake

WDWDD has partnered with the United States Geological Service, South Dakota Department of Natural Resources, Pennington County, the City of Rapid City and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on numerous projects over the years such as:

  • 2016 SDSMT Crystalline Aquifer Study
  • Canyon Lake Park Rehabilitation
  • West Berry Trails Rehabilitation
  • Hydrological Study of the Black Hills
  • Analysis of Ground-Water Flow in the Madison Aquifer
  • Water-Quality Effects of Septic Systems
  • Black Hills Area Floods Since 1877
  • Thunderstorms and Flooding of August 17, 2007
  • Ground-Water Resources in the Black Hills Area
  • Hydrologic Effects of the 1988 Galena Fire
  • WDWDD On-site Wastewater Grant Program
  • WDWDD On-site Wastewater Grant - Application PDF
  • 2015 Didymosphenia geminata Research in Rapid Creek

  • Press ReleasesPress Releases





    Rapid Creek DNA Testing Project – Rapid Creek is a vital natural resource for wild brown trout, tourism and recreation in Rapid City, SD. Continuous parks and green spaces all along the creek creates and enhances a quality of life unparalleled in our region. Expanding urban development has and continues to impact Rapid Creek’s water quality. Regular water testing by the SDDENR has resulted in listed total maximum daily load impairments for fecal coliform bacteria since 1998. The specific sources of fecal coliform bacteria contamination has yet to be identified. The West Dakota Water Development District has provided $53,014 to fund a study on the fecal coliform impairment in Rapid Creek. Through diverse partnerships with local residents, H2E, Incorporated, Source Molecular Corporation, the SDDENR, the SDSM&T and the United States Geological Survey, the West Dakota Water Development District will collect and analyze DNA samples from Rapid Creek to identify sources of fecal coliform bacteria. The SDSM&T will also be determining the presence, distribution, and persistence of pathogenicity genes in Rapid Creek. This dual approach will identify the source of contamination (human, dog, deer, bird or cattle) as well as provide insight to potential dangers to human health. By defining and understanding the source(s) of bacteria in Rapid Creek, the West Dakota Water Development District hopes to provide a healthy and accessible urban waterway for future generations to use and enjoy. Read more about this project here.
    PDF Source Identification of Fecal Coliform Bacteria Impairment in Rapid Creek, South Dakota
    DNA Sampling Plan


    Hisega Meadows Pump House - Hisega Meadows, a local housing development approximately 40 years old, received a $40,000 grant from the West Dakota Development District for a safety upgrade to their pump house. A 19’ x 20’ underground room was added to the existing pit. The addition is an all concrete structure and the enhancements to the structure included;

    • An all season water hydrant,
    • A deck on the roof that included a safety railing,
      Metal facing on the building,
    • Two new larger chemical tanks including safety spillage tanks, and
    • A new 3 ft. concrete safety wall and roof around the intake gallery.
    Pumps and plumbing remain in the old room and the chemical tanks and electrical components are now in the new room. The old entrance will only be used as an emergency exit if needed. These enhancements have created a safer working environment. This project was able to be completed within budget through over 600 hours of volunteer work by Hisega residents.

    Electrical Before
    Electrical Before


    Electrical After
    Electrical After


    Before Pit Entrance
    Before Pit Entrance


    After Pit Entrance
    After Pit Entrance




    Trinity Eco Prayer Park – The West Dakota Water Development District provided $25,000 in funding to the Trinity Eco Prayer Park. The Park educates and inspires people to stop overlooking the value of water and to protect Rapid Creek by: 1) reducing unnecessary stormwater runoff which end in Rapid Creek and compromises the quality of the area’s main watershed; 2) decreasing the amount of drinkable water being used on lawns and gardens. The Park is located on the corner of 4th and Saint Joseph Street and has the capacity to hold the rainfall from a 100 year storm event (approximately 18,000 cubic feet of stormwater). Read more about this project on their Facebook page here:


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