Red River Valley Water Supply Project

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Meet Keith Nilson, LAWA Board Member

LAWA Board Member

Keith Nilson has represented the Walsh Rural Water District on the Lake Agassiz Water Authority (LAWA) Board of Directors for the past nine years. “I became involved in LAWA because I thought it would be a good opportunity to become more involved with the Red River Valley Water Supply Project and to see how it would benefit rural water,” says Keith.

Joining the LAWA Board seems like an obvious choice for someone who has spent his career focused on rural water in North Dakota. Keith has served the Walsh Rural Water District for the past 30 years, and during that time also served 12 years with the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association board.  

Rural water is something Keith is passionate about. He wishes more people knew the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP) will give the rural districts an option for an alternate water supply if drought persists or if some reason contamination would happen with their water source. “It’s more than just a water supply for Fargo and Grand Forks. The project will supply water to about half the state’s population. Most of North Dakota’s population is on the eastern side of the state. This regional water system is important,” he says.

Keith says the 2023 legislative session was a highlight of his time on the LAWA Board, thus far. “It was great to see legislators’ commitment to moving the Red River Valley Water Supply Project forward. The funding that came out of the session was unprecedented. It shows the state’s commitment to the project,” he says.

Aside from rural water, Keith’s other major passions are his family and the family farm. He has been married to his wife, Brenda, for 32 years. The couple has four adult children and four grandchildren. Keith and his brother, Brad, are the third generation to work the land at Nilson Farm. Keith and his brother each have one son who joined the family business as the fourth generation to operate the farm. The Nilson family grows seed potatoes, wheat, soybeans, and canola.

When he has downtime between his rural water obligations, farming, and family time, Keith enjoys golfing and the NDSU Bison.