Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Water Maintenance and Conservation

Attorney: Donald R. Wharton

The Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) has been working on the delivery of a safe, reliable and adequate source of municipal, industrial and rural water through the federally authorized and funded Mni Wiconi Project. A critical element of the delivery of safe drinking water to the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is to ensure the security of the pipeline that distributes the water to the users. NARF has assisted the OST Department of Water Maintenance and Conservation in fulfilling its responsibility to secure the pipeline through the development and adoption of an OST Pipeline Security Ordinance. The Department of Water Maintenance and Conservation is now faced with enforcement of the ordinance in a number of important situations, including individuals who do not accept that they cannot waste the water provided through the Mni Wiconi Distribution system on the reservation. NARF is assisting the Department with the development and refinement of the necessary forms, standards, and protocols to accomplish enforcement of the ordinance and with the training of Department personnel on the ordinance’s enforcement.

Read More: Preserve Tribal Existence, Protect Tribal Natural Resources