Gov. Jack Dalrymple today encouraged the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation to support the proposed Red River Valley Water Supply Project, a plan to transfer water from the Missouri River to the Red River Valley.
Dalrymple met with Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Conner and Acting Deputy Commissioner Dionne Thompson, requesting that Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issue a final determination in support of the water supply project. The meeting was held at the Bureau of Reclamation in Washington, D.C.
In 2007, after eight years of study, the Bureau of Reclamation issued a final environmental impact statement that identified the Red River Valley Water Supply Project as the best alternative to meet the valley's growing water needs. Five years have passed since the Bureau of Reclamation identified the Red River Valley Water Supply Project as the best option, but efforts to advance the proposed project cannot move forward unless Salazar issues a favorable record of decision.
"Residents and businesses in the Red River Valley are currently dependent on the Red River and its tributaries, a limited water source vulnerable to regional drought," Dalrymple said. "The Red River Valley's economy and population continue to grow and we must address the region's long-term needs for a reliable and high-quality water supply."
The proposed project, a partnership between local, state and federal entities, calls for transferring Missouri River water via the McClusky Canal to the Sheyenne River north of Lake Ashtabula. The Sheyenne River flows into the Red River.
If Salazar makes a final determination in support of the water supply project, Congress would then consider authorizing the project's construction.