Addressing the North Dakota Water Users Association, Gov. Jack Dalrymple today said the state must continue to enhance its support for statewide water infrastructure projects to help meet the needs of a state with a thriving economy and growing population.
"We are advancing flood control, water supply and water management projects like never before in our state's history," Dalrymple said. "These projects are critical investments in our quality of life, but we know that there is much more work ahead as we work to meet the long-term needs of our growing state."
Dalrymple told about 300 people who attended the North Dakota Water Users Association's Joint Water Convention today that the state must keep pace with its water needs. Dalrymple also reported that State Water Commission staff is drafting new policies to better address water management challenges, decreases in federal funding and to expand project eligibility for state assistance.
The North Dakota Water Users Association represents rural water systems, water resource districts, municipalities, farmers and ranchers, businesses and other water users. The association's 50th Annual Joint Water Convention is underway at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.
The 63rd Legislative Assembly appropriated $515 million from the Resources Trust Fund for permanent flood control projects and water supply projects that will serve communities and rural water users throughout the state. During the 2013-15 biennium the state's investments in statewide water infrastructure projects will include:
$100 million toward permanent flood protection in Fargo and surrounding areas.
$61 million toward permanent flood protection in Minot, including planning, design, engineering and home acquisitions.
$40 million for the Western Area Water Supply (WAWS) project as part of the Williston Water Treatment Plant expansion and an additional $79 million to expand fresh water supply into rural areas and communities of western North Dakota. During the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, the state has provided nearly $230 million for WAWS development.
$79 million for the Southwest Water Pipeline project in western North Dakota. The funding will provide for the construction of transmission lines in Dunn and Oliver counties; to upgrade Dickinson's water treatment plant and to extend rural water supplies.
$96 million to expand water supply service in areas across the state, including: $14 million for the Northwest Area Water Supply; $11 million for the Red River Valley Water Supply as well as several rural water supply expansions, treatment plant upgrades and other water supply improvements.
$33 million for general water management projects throughout the state, including dam safety, repairs and construction and Devils Lake downstream mitigation.