Gov. Jack Dalrymple today hosted a conference call which brought together officials from the state, Minot, Ward County and Saskatchewan, Canada to discuss the conditions for Souris River spring runoff.
"We coordinated this meeting because it's important that officials continue to share runoff information and that the lines of communication remain open as we approach spring," Dalrymple said. "At the same time, we must also continue to develop a basin-wide flood protection strategy."
Officials with the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said they plan to provide officials in North Dakota with real-time rainfall data. Canadian officials said recent snowfall has led them to increase water releases from the Boundary and Rafferty dams to maintain adequate reservoir capacity during spring runoff. The U.S. Corps of Engineers is releasing 450 cubic feet of water per second from the Lake Darling Dam and Corps officials said they will make adjustments if conditions change.
Officials participating in the conference call included Saskatchewan Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatchewan Water Security Agency President Wayne Dybvig, International Souris River Board member John Fahlman, North Dakota State Engineer Todd Sando, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, Ward County Commission Chairman Jack Nybakken, Souris River Joint Board Chairman Dave Ashley, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Michael Price, Minot city council members and Ward County commission members.
Dalrymple also attended today a meeting held by the International Souris River Board which oversees the basin's international water issues. Dalrymple has called on the International Souris Board to pursue revisions to a 1989 Canada-U.S. water agreement which defines the objectives associated with international water supply and flood control practices within the Souris River Basin. Dalrymple said the agreement should be changed to reflect a basin-wide need for greater short-term and long-term flood protection. The International Souris River Board has developed a plan of study for submission to the International Joint Commission. The plan will guide a review of the operating plan for improved basin-wide flood protection.