Red River Valley Water Supply Project

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Nancy Marquart is a person who likes to be involved in her community. She became a Nelson County Commissioner in 2015 and is currently in her second year as Chairman. Recently, she wrapped up a six-year stint as a Lake Region Law Enforcement Center Board Member. She ran for and won the Nelson County seat on the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Board of Directors in 2016, after her husband passed away. Dan Marquart had been the Nelson County Director, and Nancy wanted to ensure the County continued to have a strong voice on the Board. “Dan was an asset to the Garrison Diversion Board,” says Nancy. “And Garrison Diversion is such a worthwhile Board, with significant impact to numerous and necessary water projects in the State of North Dakota.”

Nancy MOne of those projects is the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP). Nancy says Garrison Diversion is alive and well, and the RRVWSP is proof of that. The drought mitigation plan to move water from the Missouri River 167 miles to the Sheyenne River is becoming a reality. Three major construction projects are in the works – the intake structure on the Missouri River at Washburn, the first 1.25 miles of the 72-inch pipe has been laid near Carrington, and the discharge facility on the eastern end has been completed and will be used to release the piped water into the Sheyenne River.

“Last summer I was with a group of Directors and Duane DeKrey when we toured the intake site at the Missouri River. I saw the wet well with the 75-foot secants that were set down into a perfect huge circle to hold water and I saw the place in the river where the intake structure would be. It was very exciting and yet mind boggling to imagine the workmanship that had and will continue to come into play to bring this whole project to fruition. I will be making plans to visit the construction sites as the progression of the project goes along,” she says.

Nelson County has reaped many benefits from being part of the 28-county Garrison Diversion Conservancy District. Last year, the new Water Supply Assistance Grant Program provided funding assistance for new Nelson County customer hookups to their rural water systems. Nelson County and its cities have also received Matching Recreation Grants over the years. “Garrison Diversion has helped provide new playground equipment in many locations and dollars have been allocated to us to help with new buildings and facilities at our County Park,” says Nancy. She also points out a 265-acre property called Engels Point on the shores of Stump Lake that is owned by Garrison Diversion. “In the early 1970s, this land was designated to be used for recreation. Garrison Diversion is now in the process of developing the area to include walking trails, a water accessible courtesy dock, primitive camping, and much more. When completed, this will be a wonderful asset to the community,” Nancy explains.

When she’s not serving the public, Nancy enjoys visiting her eight children and eleven grandchildren when she can. She jokes that it is good she enjoys traveling because her family is spread out across Minnesota, Colorado, Georgia, and Florida. “One day, one of my boys said to me, ‘Mom, do you realize that all of your children are successful entrepreneurs?’ I had to stop and count through all of them. I thought – wow – that is quite an accomplishment. It must be the midwestern upbringing,” says Nancy with a proud smile. 

In her spare time, you can almost always find Nancy outdoors – on or near the water, paddle boarding and waterskiing, or enjoying hiking, gardening, photography, and golfing. She says she has also become quite good at keeping her yard free of gophers and her young trees safe from beavers. When confined to the indoors, Nancy enjoys making raspberry liqueur, knitting, sewing, and reading.