The Rapid Creek Water Alliance fights to protect Rapid Creek from mining
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A new group advocating for clean water is asking for our help in protecting Rapid Creek from mining.
The Rapid Creek Water Alliance is asking South Dakota lawmakers for a mineral claim withdrawal, which would stop mining over 700 square miles of the Black Hills.
Rapid City uses more than four billion gallons of water a year from the watershed, which the group says could be threatened by mining.
“That’s worth about 70 cents a gallon,” says Environmental Engineer, Jerry Wright, Ph. D. “The water is worth a way lot more than people realize, because without that water, our economy would not exist. A lot of our water goes into aquifers, like the Madison, and if the water gets contaminated, getting it cleaned up is next to impossible.”
The watershed is also home to Pe’ Sla, a Lakota cultural site at Castle Creek.
There are currently active mining claims, but the group wants lawmakers to act sooner rather than later.