- Associated Press - Thursday, January 15, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The United States Department of Agriculture has selected a project dedicated to improving water quality in the Big Sioux River as one of its “high-impact” projects for 2015.

The USDA says the 115 projects in the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will receive more than $370 million in total. Community partners nationwide will also contribute an estimated $400 million.

The department says the biggest concern of the Central Big Sioux Water Quality Project is the degradation of surface water quality from bacteria, nutrients and sediment. The project will assist land owners and producers with improving water quality by avoiding, controlling and trapping nutrient and sediment runoff.

The funding will also go toward installing 13 Animal Waste Management Systems.

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