Courtesy Bureau of Reclamation
Focused on high quality drinking water, Frank Means receives the John W. Keys III Award. Pictured, from left, are: David Rosenkrance )Bureau of Reclamation Dakotas Area Office Manager, John Yellowbird Steele (President Oglala Sioux Tribe), Means (Director of the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System), Bud Stiles (Bureau of Reclamation retired).

Oglala Sioux Water Supply Director Honored with John W. Keys III Award


High quality drinking water is something that everyone can appreciate, but for Frank Means, director of the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System, his efforts to provide those expectations to thousands of residents has earned him the John W. Keys III Award.

Means, over the last year, also facilitated the completion of the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Project.

“Mr. Means’ efforts over the past year exemplify his dedication to the Project, bringing high quality drinking water to over 50,000 residents in 10 counties in South Dakota, including the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the West River/Lyman Jones Rural Water System,” said Dakotas Area Office Manager David Rosenkrance.

The Mni Wiconi Rural Water Project covers more than 12,500 square miles and is one of the geographically largest rural water projects in North America. Means coordinated closely with the Reclamation and the Tribal Council to identify and prioritize project needs once funding was fully appropriated. He worked closely with the EPA and Indian Health Service as well. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States.

“Mr. Means’ efforts always encouraged open discussion and collaborative working relationships to achieve common goals,” said Rosenkrance.  “He led the other Project sponsors, demonstrating that by working together they could achieve far greater results than attempting individual efforts.”

The John W. Keys III Award is in honor of the late Reclamation Commissioner who lost his life in a plane crash. Keys was well respected and served 36 years in federal departments working on solutions for better management of water resources.

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