Governor Jack Dalrymple today spoke with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall regarding the operation and management of three Canadian dams upstream of North Dakota communities along the Mouse River. Dalrymple pressed for possible changes in the dams' operations to provide additional protection against future flooding.
"We are asking a lot of questions about whether they can provide more flexibility in the management of these Canadian dams to help provide additional protection against future flooding," Dalrymple said. "We will continue to talk with Canadian officials with the goal of securing additional flood protection to avoid potential problems in the spring and in the long term."
Wall said Canadian authorities have begun releasing water from the dams to create storage capacity in preparation for 2012 spring runoff. In the past, water has not been released from the Canadian dams this far in advance of spring. Wall said Canadian officials intend to be aggressive and take pool levels to elevations lower than usual.
Dalrymple said he and other state officials plan to meet with Wall and other Canadian officials to continue the talks. Wall said he would like to host the meeting in Regina as soon as it can be scheduled.
Dalrymple said technical officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Dakota and Canada also will meet Dec. 8 in St. Paul, Minn., to discuss the dams' operations.
Canadian authorities manage the Boundary, Rafferty and Alameda dams which are upstream of North Dakota communities along the Mouse River. Under current agreement, Canada provides enough water storage behind the dams to protect North Dakota's downstream communities from a 100-year flood.