PIERRE | State officials say drought conditions in western South Dakota have forced them to issue shut-off orders to 10 holders of junior water rights along Battle Creek near Hermosa.
State Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Steve Pirner says state law seeks to ensure that water users with the most senior rights have the best chance of getting water. Seniority is determined by the date water rights are obtained. Water rights permits can be issued for uses such as irrigation, city water supply or commercial use.
Pirner says the shut-off orders are intended to protect the domestic use of water, which has the highest priority under state law. Domestic use includes livestock watering and is not subject to shut-off orders.