Valley water delivery options have been studied thoroughly
In response to The Forum's position as featured in an editorial Jan. 10: It has been said that you don't know the worth of water until the well runs dry. We, as North Dakotans, understand this fact. Former Gov. Bill Guy was and continues to be a ...
In response to The Forum's position as featured in an editorial Jan. 10:
It has been said that you don't know the worth of water until the well runs dry. We, as North Dakotans, understand this fact. Former Gov. Bill Guy was and continues to be a vocal advocate for our great state's future. His passion is appreciated and respected.
For nearly 14 years, a diverse group of local, state and federal organizations has been searching for a solution for when the well runs dry in the Red River Valley. The process has been arduous, to say the least. Securing a dependable water supply for the Red River Valley is an important issue for the state, and countless hours have been spent working on the Red River Valley Water Supply Project. We all have the same goal: finding the best way to provide a dependable water supply to the Valley.
Beginning in 1994, the Bureau of Reclamation and state of North Dakota (represented by Garrison Diversion) produced dozens of studies and documents examining the future water needs of the Valley and the water sources available to meet those needs. They sought and received the input of those stakeholders who would be affected and then identified and evaluated alternatives to meet the water needs.
Throughout the process, more than 150 formal meetings were held to discuss technical, environmental and other issues concerning the proposed scope, the alternatives and the environmental impacts of the proposed project. When searching for the best solution, the impact to all of North Dakota, not just the Valley, was studied.
Since the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in December 2005, 269 separate comments have been submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation and the state of North Dakota. These comments were carefully reviewed and considered in the recently released Final Environmental Impact Statement.
The statement includes references to more than 450 studies and documents that have been evaluated to make a determination. There were eight alternatives, and each was considered thoroughly. But one had to be chosen as the best solution. This decision was not made quickly or taken lightly and was rooted in the most current scientific and technical data.
The preferred alternative, the GDU Import to the Sheyenne River, not only provides a dependable water supply to the communities in the Red River Valley,it also provides the most environmental benefits of all the alternatives.
Throughout this entire process, we have witnessed the passion North Dakotans have for their state, the people and the water that supplies everyone. We appreciate that Guy continues to look out for the water needs of our state. This is an important project, and we are glad that he agrees. We believe though that through 14 years of studies, we have found the best alternative that will meet the future water needs of the Red River Valley, is affordable to the local users, fair to the taxpayers of North Dakota, is a good investment of federal dollars, and provides the most benefit to the environment.
Koland is general manager of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District.
Former Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness is chairman of the Lake Agassiz Water Authority.
Valley water delivery options have been studied thoroughly By Dave Koland and Bruce Furness 20080115