The slow process of getting Missouri River water to north-central North Dakota takes an important step Wednesday.
That's when the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public hearing on the Northwest Area Water Supply project, or NAWS.
Specifically, the meeting will be about the draft version of a supplemental environmental impact statement on NAWS.
The public will be allowed to speak to the issue, either by addressing a panel, or through written comments.
For one Bottineau County man who's been trying to get NAWS going for decades, the meeting is a chance for many people to tell federal officials that it's time to get NAWS going.
<(Kenny Rogers, NAWS Advisory Committee Member) "We need a good quantity supply of water and a good quality supply of water. This area up here has really been held back in any growth, substantial growth and development because we just don't have the quantity and in some places have the quantity but they don't have -- they have terrible quality problems."
All Seasons Water Users serves much of Bottineau County.
The head of that group says many people have been promised water from NAWS for decades.
(Dan Schaefer, All Seasons Water Users) "We're getting calls. We haven't really gone out to get the signups yet because we don't have a source of water to do that and I've been through that for years where we get people all excited and ten years later you're finally bringing them water and that's not what I want to do."
NAWS has been delayed by lawsuits from Canada and the state of Missouri.
The public meeting on the environmental impact statement for NAWS is Wednesday night at 6 at the Comfort Inn in Minot.
Public comments will be taken from 6:30-8:30, and in writing through early September by contacting the Bureau of Reclamation.