In our last report, we told you what Senator Hoeven said: “To best understand these projects, we need to know the differences.”
The red river water supply project is a state project, and the North Dakota water supply project is a federal project.
But what else makes them different?
In this piece, we break them down.
“This is about developing in the state of North Dakota and meeting our water needs. Specifically, the Red River Valley Water Supply Project is what takes it from the Missouri river in Central North Dakota over to eastern North Dakota. Then the other part of this moving piece, because this is a big, massive project, is what is called ENDAWS, that’s the eastern North Dakota water supply project. That is the federal piece. The Red River Valley is the state piece. So, we’ve got both the federal and the state pieces working together to move Missouri River water to eastern North Dakota,” says Senator Hoeven.
It is a known fact that the state needs water, beyond the 1930’s drought, the past year, and even now.
But there are still questions that need to be answered before large projects just begin.
The ENDAWS project will then allow for additional water to be released from Garrison Diversion facilities to serve as an alternate water source for the red river valley and central North Dakota water supply projects.
Which answers the question, why two pipes, why two separate projects?
Let’s take a more visual look at what is really happening.
“If you take this stuff away back in 2001 through 2008, we did a federal project to study EIS. So, the route was basically the orange in the red. The Bureau of Reclamation Secretary of Interior, failed to get us a rod, so we had to develop another alternative. So, we walked away from the canal and said we need to bypass the canal we have to do a state plan so that’s when we came up with the red line. Once we started building the intake is when the Bureau of Reclamation said, ‘Whoa, come back as a customer, let’s work on a deal.’ So, we did the EIS, they signed the record of decisions, so that’s what we’re at today. That project is called the ENDAWS project and that’s what the senator was talking about. It’s kind of the orange portion. What we were talking about earlier is it’s confusing with two intakes. We had to build this one before Reclamation allowed us to use the canal. “So, we know that we’re in a little bit of an interesting spot with this intake; however, there’s a lot of interest in this area of industry, and we really feel like the intake that’s being built today will be used for industry in the area. Washburn, for instance, it’s really likely that Washburn will hook up to that intake you saw today, and will use that.”
So now, we have 2 pipelines. And after the many walkthroughs and separate presentations, the Senator, visitors, and KX News were able to visually see and understand how the two pipes could be used.
Garrison Diversion estimates the alternative water supply would reduce project costs by $200 million, while also saving on operating costs by using the Snake Creek Pumping station to pump water.
“The federal government was blocking us from going the shortest and least costly way. Now, we’ve been able to get that approved from the federal government, so that shortened up how much pipeline the state project will have to cover. Now beyond that, then as far as the state working with those landowners, I’m not sure where they are in the negotiation process, but I strongly feel again like they need to work with those landowners and make sure they work it out, so they again are fairly compensated,” said Senator Hoeven.
In our coming coverage, we will discuss the need for a new pump at the Snake Creek pumping station to pump the water required for this project.
And we will show you the Senators’ response to your question on why the Red River Valley water supply project is no longer taking place under I-94.