Minot Mayor On River Management Initiative

An international effort to address river management in a wide area including north-central North Dakota is moving forward.

The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative has some big goals for a big chunk of North America.

The ARBI aims to better understand the forces that cause everything from flooding to prolonged drought in three river basins – the Souris, which reaches down into North Dakota, the Qu’Appelle, which stretches into central Saskatchewan, and the Assiniboine, which collects water from the others and dumps into the Red River at Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The ARBI wrapped up its third annual meeting this month in Minot, promising to continue looking at ways the management of the three river basins might be coordinated.

But would that sort of coordination mean a loss of control for the agency overseeing the Souris-Mouse River?

There’s a billion-dollar plan that’s well underway to protect against flooding along the Mouse River including in Minot.

Mayor Chuck Barney says the city wants to support the ARBI while making sure flood protection is not hampered.

(Chuck Barney, Minot Mayor) “We’ve got some city staff members to make sure that Minot’s interests are well represented. But I don’t anticipate any differences in opinion on how to move forward.”

Mayor Barney says it’s important that the city participate in groups such as the ARBI, both to support the effort of better understanding the river that flows through Minot, and to provide better protection to the city and its residents against future flood events.

The Mouse hit a record high in Minot in July of 2011, destroying thousands of homes and causing over a billion dollars in damage.

Reporting live in Minot, Tim Olson, KX News.

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