Water supply pipeline option gains support
The idea of piping Missouri River water to augment water supplies in the Red River Valley got a boost by North Dakota's Garrison Diversion board. The board gave its unanimous backing to an option that would build a pipeline to Lake Ashtabula near...
The idea of piping Missouri River water to augment water supplies in the Red River Valley got a boost by North Dakota's Garrison Diversion board.
The board gave its unanimous backing to an option that would build a pipeline to Lake Ashtabula near Valley City, N.D., at an estimated cost of $500 million to $660 million.
The proposal would use a pipeline of about 135 miles to connect McClusky Canal with the reservoir, where a dam would regulate releases into the Sheyenne River, which flows into the Red River near Harwood.
"I think it's the first step in what's going to be a lengthy process," Dave Koland, Garrison Diversion general manager, said Wednesday. He called the option the one that clearly would provide the most benefits to water users in Fargo and elsewhere in the Red River Valley, while helping to keep costs in check.
The option earlier won the endorsement of the Lake Agassiz Water Authority, comprised of local governments and rural water systems in 13 Red River Valley counties.
"A lot of consideration has gone into making this choice," said Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness, chairman of the 13-county authority. "We've been presented with numerous studies and research, so we are confident that we've made an educated decision."
Next Tuesday, the North Dakota State Water Commission will be briefed on a study of seven alternatives for meeting the Red River Valley's water needs through 2050.
The commission is expected to decide by Nov. 1 whether to add its endorsement of the option now backed by Garrison and the authority. The state will pick its preferred alternative for review in an environmental impact statement due in draft form by the end of the year.
Other alternatives that have been studied include diverting water from the Lake of the Woods, shared by Minnesota and Canada. A preliminary cost estimate for that option ranged from $940 million to $1.1 million.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522