In 1994, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe; Roberts County; and the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Geological Survey Program, began a 6-year investigation to describe and quantify the water resources of the area within the 1867 boundary of the Lake Traverse Reservation and adjacent parts of Roberts County. Roberts County is located in extreme northeastern South Dakota, and the 1867 boundary of the Lake Traverse Reservation encompasses much of Roberts County and parts of Marshall, Day, Codington, and Grant Counties in South Dakota and parts of Richland and Sargent Counties in southeast North Dakota. This report includes descriptions of the quantity, quality, and availability of surface and ground water, the extent of the major glacial and bedrock aquifers and named outwash groups, and surface- and ground-water uses within the 1867 boundary of the Lake Traverse Reservation and adjacent parts of Roberts County.
The surface-water resources within the 1867 boundary of the Lake Traverse Reservation and adjacent parts of Roberts County include rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands. The Wild Rice and Bois de Sioux Rivers are tributaries of the Red River within the Souris-Red-Rainy River Basin; the Little Minnesota, Jorgenson, and North Fork Whetstone Rivers are tributaries of the Minnesota River within the Upper Mississippi River Basin, and the James and Big Sioux Rivers are tributaries within the Missouri River Basin. Several of the larger lakes within the study area have been developed for recreation, while many of the smaller lakes and wetlands are used for livestock watering or as wildlife production areas. Statistical summaries are presented for the water-quality data of six selected streams within the study area, and the dominant chemical species are listed for 17 selected lakes within the study area.
The glacial history of the study area has led to a rather complex system of glacial aquifers. The boundaries of 11 aquifers and 6 named outwash groups were delineated based on hydrogeologic cross sections, water levels, and water-quality similarities/dissimilarities. The glacial aquifers include Coteau Lakes system, Big Sioux, Alta-mont, Revillo, James, Veblen system, Spiritwood, Hankinson, Rosholt, Milnor Channel, and Fairmount; the bedrock aquifer included in this report is the Dakota. Named outwash groups include the Prairie Coteau, Lonesome Lake, Marday, Eden, Roslyn, and Wilmot. A summary of the character-istics of each of the major aquifers and outwash groups and a summary of selected chemical analyses for each aquifer and outwash group are presented. All aquifers and outwash groups in the study area have either moderately hard or very hard water and are considered fresh to slightly saline. One or more water samples from some of the aquifers and outwash groups have a constituent that was above the recommended or mandatory limit for drinking water. Most aquifers and outwash groups have dissolved solids and sulfate contents above the recommended levels of 500 and 250 mg/L (milligrams per liter), respectively. The Dakota aquifer was the only one to have a mean chloride concentration above the recommended level of 250 mg/L. Nitrate concentrations greater than the mandatory limit of 10 mg/L were found in the Big Sioux aquifer and the Coteau Lakes and Veblen aquifer systems. Concentrations of arsenic greater than 10 ?g/L (micrograms per liter) were found in the Coteau Lakes and Veblen aquifer systems, and in the Rosholt and Fairmount aquifers.
Municipalities and rural water systems currently provide most of the water used in the study area-nearly all of it from ground-water sources. Surface-water use is limited to livestock watering. About 55 percent of the total water used in Roberts County is for domestic purposes, with most domestic users served by a public supply system.
Irrigation accounts for about 10 percent of the total water used. All
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water resources of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South and North Dakota, and Roberts County, South Dakota
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
South Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center