ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Aberdeen is spending more than $500,000 to conduct two studies on whether it needs another water source.

The studies are examining the city's infrastructure and the underground watershed to see if it will be adequate in the future, the Aberdeen American News reported .

"There's no clear answer on when work will need to be done," said Public Works Director Robin Bobzien. "The alarm comes when we start to see higher demand."

Clark Engineering and Wenck Engineering and Consulting are conducting a two-year, $250,905 study approved earlier this year. U.S. Geological Survey is also conducting a five-year, $305,600 study.

Information from the two studies will be combined to predict how quickly well water levels will drop and rebound, said Water Superintendent Bob Braun.

Aberdeen gets its water from wells and from the Elm River. The ratio depends on the season, Braun said.

New water sources may not be needed if the city can use existing wells, said City Manager Lynn Lander. The city has 10 wells, but some are inactive, he said.

The city may also decide to tap deeper into existing wells to be more cost-efficient, Bobzien said. New wells would require the city purchase land, dig a new well and install infrastructure, which he said would be substantially more expensive.

The study will also determine the extent of the city's water rights, Lander said.

The water study comes as the city is in the midst of strategic planning.


Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com