Red River Valley Water Supply Project

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Project Team Steadily Completes HB 1020 Requirements
The North Dakota Legislature will reconvene in January 2019.  Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) and Lake Agassiz Water Authority (LAWA), the co-sponsors of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP), are preparing for a busy legislative session.

“We have made a lot of progress during the current biennium.  We’ve created a plan for what needs to be accomplished over the next two years to keep the project moving forward,” says Duane DeKrey, Garrison Diversion General Manager.

Garrison Diversion and LAWA are requesting $50 million for the RRVWSP in the 2019-2021 State Water Commission (SWC) budget.  If approved, $25 million of the funding would be allocated towards construction of a pipeline segment.  The remaining $25 million would fund the final design for key components of the RRVWSP and the land acquisition process, as well as legal and financial costs.

“We know the State Water Commission and legislators see the importance of this emergency water supply that will benefit half the population of North Dakota,” says DeKrey.  

The SWC’s budget (HB 1020) for the 2017-2019 biennium included up to $30 million for the RRVWSP. HB 1020 directed $17 million for RRVWSP planning and permitting, and $13 million to begin construction. The project is progressing with the funds allowed. Thus far, several requirements of HB 1020 have been completed, including the alternative selection, which determined the project route for the transmission pipeline from the Missouri River to the Sheyenne River; water supply needs to determine RRVWSP demand projections; and projected project costs, which determined the $1.14 billion (2017 dollars) price tag.
In addition, Garrison Diversion and LAWA have secured a water source from the Missouri River and/or the McClusky Canal, and project engineers are completing the final design on some project elements.   “We intend to put these projects out for bid in late winter or the spring of 2019,” says Kip Kovar, Deputy Program Manager for RRVWSP Engineering.   
Other directives of HB 1020 are ongoing as Garrison Diversion continues to work on the land acquisition process, environmental compliance, implementation schedule, acquisition of permits, project implementation schedule and funding options.
“The project is on track to fully utilize the funding provided to the Red River Valley Water Supply Project for this biennium and to complete the requirements of the project,” says Merri Mooridian, Deputy Program Manager for RRVWSP Administration.   
Overall, Garrison Diversion and LAWA representatives say they are proud of what has been accomplished so far and are grateful for the State of North Dakota’s previous support for the RRVWSP. “We are excited and optimistic about the upcoming legislative session,” says DeKrey.