Garrison Diversion & LAWA Representatives Support RRVWSP in D.C.

Posted: Dec 14 2017
Representatives of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) and the Lake Agassiz Water Authority (LAWA) traveled to Washington, D.C., this fall, in support of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP).  The group met with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on October 25 to discuss the importance of bringing water to central and eastern North Dakota. The meeting held at the Department of Interior was orchestrated, and also attended, by Rep. Kevin Cramer, who served alongside Secretary Zinke during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The group discussed the drought control project intended to deliver a supplemental water supply for central and eastern North Dakota.  The supplemental water will be utilized for domestic needs and to promote industrial development for nearly 50 percent of the state.

“I was encouraged by Secretary Zinke’s attitude toward it, his willingness to take a fresh look, and his clear understanding of the importance of the project,” said Rep. Cramer.

Garrison Diversion and LAWA representatives also met with Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp on October 26, seeking their continued assistance with the RRVWSP.

Garrison Diversion and LAWA are working with the Bureau of Reclamation to finalize the environmental review process on a water service contract from the McClusky Canal as a cost-effective alternative to provide water to Central North Dakota.   

            “The Red River Valley Water Supply Project brings water from the Missouri River to the Sheyenne River through a buried pipeline.  However, we are exploring the option of purchasing water for Central North Dakota from the McClusky Canal.  Making use of the McClusky Canal has several benefits, including putting the Garrison Diversion Unit to use, economic advantage for the water users, revenue generation for the federal government, and job creation,” says Ken Vein, Garrison Diversion past Board Chair and Lake Agassiz Water Authority Vice Chair.    
   Thirty-five cities and water systems have agreed to fund the development phase of the RRVWSP.  In all, the project will need to provide 165 cfs of water to adequately serve all of the communities’ and water systems’ needs.  “That’s actually less than 0.7 percent of the Missouri River’s average flow – a drop in the bucket,” explains Vein.