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Three Affiliated Tribes
Environmental Division of the Natural Resources Department






Lake Sakakawea provides municipal water for five of the six Reservation communities - Four Bears, Mandaree, White Shield, Parshall and Twin Buttes.  The lake is also a major source of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating and water skiing.  Industrial use of the lake resource is continuing to increase as energy development on the Reservation increases. Major streams on the Reservation are Bear Den Creek, Shell Creek, East Fork Shell Creek, Deepwater Creek, Moccasin Creek, and Squaw Creek.

Other water resources on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation include ephemeral streams, wetlands, small man-made impoundments that are used for livestock watering and wildlife habitat, and groundwater.  The New Town public water system uses groundwater from the New Town Aquifer.   Groundwater occurs within glacial deposits and bedrock aquifers of the Fort Union Formation (Dingman and Grodon, 1954).  All of the major streams flow into Lake Sakakawea and Dingman and Gordon (1954) state that the general movement of groundwater in aquifers that lie above river level is toward the Missouri River.

Water Quality Management under the Clean Water Act (CWA)

Grants under Section 106 of the CWA are intended to assist Indian Tribes in carrying out effective water pollution control programs. Federally-recognized Indian Tribes or Intertribal Consortia meeting the requirements for Treatment as a State (TAS), as set forth under Section 518 (e) of the Clean Water Act are eligible for these grants.

Section 106 grants are used to fund a wide range of Tribal water quality activities including: water quality planning and assessments; development of water quality standards; ambient monitoring; ground water and wetland protection; and activities to manage nonpoint sources of pollution (including nonpoint source assessment and management plans).

The Three Affiliated Tribes Environmental Division is establishing an ambient water quality monitoring program for surface and groundwater resources, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (see details under WHAT WE ARE DOING). The program is intended to help the Division and the Tribal community understand the status and condition of water resources on the Reservation, and may provide data that can help inform development and refinement of Tribal water quality standards.

Helpful Links and Resources

EPA American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO)

Water Quality Standards on Tribal Lands (EPA national site)