PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued shut-off orders to holders of water rights along Battle Creek near Hermosa.
Department officials say unless it begins to rain more in western South Dakota, additional orders may be issued for other rivers and streams to protect domestic uses, including livestock watering.
State Environment Secretary Steve Pirner says flows in Battle Creek dropped below target level. He says state water law ensures that the domestic use of water, which includes livestock watering, will be protected over other uses. Pirner says the department is protecting domestic uses by shutting off other demands for water.
Garland Erbele, chief engineer of the Water Rights Program, says below-normal rain and high temperatures are hurting stream flows in western South Dakota.