SIOUX FALLS - The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System's board is trying to complete the project first authorized in 2000 despite a dramatic drop in federal money the past two years.

The Argus Leader reports that the system was supposed to be distributing 45 million gallons of potable Missouri River water a day to 300,000 customers in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa by 2005.

Sioux Falls began receiving water last summer, but nine of Lewis & Clark's member communities and rural water systems have yet to be hooked up.

An almost chronic shortfall in its federal allocation has put construction far behind schedule.

Board members are divided on whether they should convert the $100 million in remaining grants to a zero-interest loan that members would repay over 40 years.

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