A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Supporting and encouraging a 2012 interim study and thorough review of drainage laws in South Dakota.
    WHEREAS, consecutive years of excessive snowfall and record rainfall in eastern South Dakota have caused severe flooding and have resulted in saturation of ground water levels; overflowing lakes, rivers, and streams; and inundation of homes, farmland, and local roads; and
    WHEREAS, draining excess water from seasonally and perennially wet areas can markedly improve agricultural productivity, and in doing so can significantly improve the general economy of the state of South Dakota; and
    WHEREAS, poor management and regulation of drained water can result in damage to a wide range of private and public property and public water resources on which all citizens depend; and
    WHEREAS, many township and county roads and bridges have been damaged by inundation and flooding, as well as by ditching in public highway rights-of-way to facilitate drainage of private property; and
    WHEREAS, the State of South Dakota in 1985 adopted SDCL 46A-10A to provide a framework by which county commissioners could establish plans and controls to help manage and regulate drainage; and
    WHEREAS, a significant number of those counties that opted to adopt drainage plans and controls to undertake such regulation have subsequently concluded that the current system is unworkable and have abandoned their drainage ordinances; and
    WHEREAS, the East Dakota, Vermillion Basin, Central Plains, South Central, and James River Water Development districts, subdivisions of the State of South Dakota, seek to promote the sound and sustainable use of water resources within the state of South Dakota to benefit all residents, including the management and regulation of drainage activities in a way that fairly balances the benefits gained by those engaged in such efforts with the resulting adverse impacts to others; and
    WHEREAS, the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners, South Dakota Association of Towns and Townships, and the water development districts have adopted resolutions in support of efforts to improve management and regulation of drainage; and
    WHEREAS, the water development districts have agreed to provide technical and financial support, as is practical and necessary, for successful completion of the requested study for the benefit of the residents of the districts and the state of South Dakota:
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Eighty-seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the Legislature recommends that the Legislative Research Council Executive Board authorize a 2012 interim study and thorough review of drainage laws by the South Dakota Legislature to provide for improved management and regulation of the drainage of surface and subsurface water for the benefit of all South Dakotans; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee shall report its findings and proposed statutory changes to the Eighty-Eighth Legislature of the State of South Dakota.

Adopted by the Senate,

February 10, 2012

Concurred in by the House of Representatives,
February 14, 2012


Matt Michels
President of the Senate  

Fee Jacobsen
Secretary of the Senate  



Val Rausch
Speaker of the House  

Karen Gerdes
Chief Clerk of the House