Red River Valley Water Supply Project

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Roger Fenstad marks his tenth year on the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Board of Directors in 2021. He says he ran for election and became involved in the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District to use his civil engineering background to help bring quality drinking water to the people of North Dakota. Roger has worked in North Dakota’s water industry since 1974, so he certainly understands the need for quality water for drinking, economic development, irrigation, and ranching.

R. FenstadRoger represents Cass County on the Garrison Diversion Board. He says Cass County benefits from participation by having a voice in the critical water decisions made in the state.  “Being in the trenches and being able to work with all the entities involved in water is very important,” he says.

Cass County will benefit from the emergency and supplemental water supply delivered by the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP) when it’s constructed. As a member of the Garrison Diversion’s Red River Valley Committee, Roger has been very involved in the plans for the RRVWSP.

“It is critical to maintain economic stability in the eastern half of North Dakota during a drought event. Most industries that want to come to the state need water. It is in short supply in Cass County and the eastern half of our state. The Red River Valley Water Supply will help our economic development capability by providing a source of water for our businesses, industry, and citizens.  It is crucial for the viability of our state,” Roger explains.

Although grateful for the North Dakota legislature’s $50 million in funding for the 2021-2023 biennium, Roger wishes more could be done to achieve long-term financing for the end users of the RRVWSP. “I wish everyone knew how important it is to get a long-term financing plan in place.  A plan that makes it economically feasible for our future users, large and small, to commit to participating in the project.  Everyone needs the project, but most are concerned about the unknown costs.  We as leaders need to do everything we can to alleviate those concerns and help them be able to participate,” says Roger.

In the meantime, Roger will keep working to bring quality drinking water to the people of North Dakota. It’s something he’s been committed to achieving for the past 47 years.