1. Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority (DRWA) was formed in 2005 by four conservation districts: Dawson, Richland, Garfield and McCone. The goal of DRWA is to provide a good quality water system to rural households. It services the counties of Dawson, Richland, Garfield, McCone and northern Prairie County.
2. The designated coverage area for DRWA runs from the Yellowstone River to Fort Peck, with the Garfield County line serving as it’s western border and south, just past Terry into northern Prairie County. It covers 11,791 square miles of area across five counties.
3. Construction began on the first service area south of Sidney in 2013 and went live in 2014. Town Pump was the first customer to use DRWA.
4. The second extension was planned in 2015 and went live in 2016 and is referred to as the East Yellowstone addition. That extension of DRWA allowed the MDU plant to hook into the water system. That portion of the project was funded by Richland County, MDU, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and State Revolving Fund loan.
5. The third project brought service to the Sidney Circle subdivision and went live in December 2018. Residents in that subdivision are no longer required to maintain their own water system after the new infrastructure was put in the ground, complete with a pump house. Of the residents in Sidney Circle, 48 are now connected to DRWA and there are nine more undeveloped lots with the potential to connect.
6. The next projected addition for DRWA is looking to utilize the water treatment plant in Culbertson to provide water to Lambert and Fairview. The City of Culbertson has issued a letter of support for the project and the City of Fairview is currently conducting a study to decide if that is the best course of action.
7. Eventually, DRWA aims to build a water treatment plant on the north fork of Fort Peck, where they own the water rights. That singular treatment plant would potentially serve the entire coverage area. That goal is currently pending congressional approval, which is a timely process.
8. DRWA addresses a huge need in eastern Montana: low-quality well water. Providing rural residents with access to treated water. There are four regional water systems in Montana in varying stages of completion. Once completed, those rural systems stand to service approximately 100,000 Montana residents and around 70 communities.