Welcome to the SRST Department of Water Resources
Thank you Everett Iron Eyes, Sr. for all your years of Dedicated Service to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe!!!
Thank you JoAnn Vinson for 25 years of dedication to the Department of Water Resources!!
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Department of Water Resources is dedicated to the protection and preservation of its invaluable rights to the use of water in the Missouri River, major tributaries and ground water resources within the exterior boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation to meet all present and future beneficial uses of the Tribe and its members.
Water Is Life. The general welfare, social and economic advancement, the integrity of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the well-being of its members depend on an adequate quantity of Missouri River water of sufficient quality to meet all present and future uses. Administration of this valuable resource is a vital and necessary function of Tribal Government and an exercise of inherent sovereign power of self-government by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Water is essential and vital to economic self-sufficiency, self-determination and the maintenance of a permanent Tribal Homeland for the members of the Standing Rock Nation.
Ensure formal recognition of the ownership, jurisdiction, authority and control over all sources of water within the exterior boundaries of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, including the Missouri River, major tributaries and groundwater, by all federal and state water agencies and officials pursuant to aboriginal title stemming from time immemorial, applicable provisions of the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties, acts of Congress and decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ensure formal acknowledgement by all federal and state water management agencies, offices and officials within the Missouri River Basin that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has the requisite, authority, jurisdiction, control and capability to administer all surface and subsurface sources of water under the Standing Rock Water Code.
Ensure formal recognition by all Missouri River water users that the Missouri River is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s primary source of water with annual water requirements of a minimum of 1.5 million acre-feet to meet all present and future beneficial uses of the Tribe and its members.
Ensure formal acknowledgement by all federal and state water management agencies, offices and officials, including all non-Tribal water interests, within the Missouri River Basin, that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Indian Winters rights to the use of water in the Missouri River, tributaries and ground water, have a Priority Date of April 29, 1868, which are supreme, prior and paramount to state created water rights.
Fully implement the Standing Rock Water Code to provide for the wise management of the reservation water resources in an unbiased and equitable manner with adequate due process protections for all Tribal and non-Tribal water users within the exterior boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation.
Continue development of a comprehensive, current and accurate database of all surface and groundwater resources of the four primary drainages on the reservation, including inflow and outflow from all major tributaries (named and unnamed), sub-basins and beneficial uses of water from all sources for all past, present and future needs.
Plan and construct comprehensive, multi-purpose and economically feasible water projects on the reservation to meet all present and future needs of all tribal and non-tribal members.
Revise, update and modify the 1979 Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Water Resources Evaluation Phase 2 Report (The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Water Plan).
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) shall have primary responsibility for the protection and preservation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Winters rights to the use of water in the Missouri River, tributaries and groundwater sources, including governmental functions related to water resource administration, management, development and utilization within the exterior boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation. The DWR shall operate pursuant to Tribal Resolution No. 106-01 and applicable Federal and Tribal laws.
Objective 1. Address North Dakota and South Dakota legislative processes and proposal(s) to negotiate, quantify and settle Indian reserved water rights.
Objective 2. Implement the Standing Rock Water Code in coordination with the Standing Rock Water Resources Control Board (WRCB).
Objective 3. Water data collection for all surface and groundwater sources and aquifers to determine water quantity, quality, supply and availability.
Objective 4. Revise and update Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Standing Rock Water Resources Evaluation reports.
Objective 5. Represent the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in appropriate forums where Indian water rights are addressed.
Objective 6. Coordinate and participates with other tribes and tribal programs on water and natural resources, including environmental issues.
Objective 7. Update GIS database and inventory of all arable lands and water resources within the Standing Rock Reservation.
Objective 8. Provide assistance as identified in the Tribe's Emergency Response plan.