Water Infrastructure and Flood Protection

North Dakota has abundant water resources. If they are carefully managed, these resources will provide tremendous economic and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Well-constructed, well-managed flood protection infrastructure can protect the lives, livelihoods and property of North Dakotans across our state. 

From my position on the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, I am working to restore, improve and build up our state’s water infrastructure, especially flood protection projects for North Dakota.

I worked hard on the Appropriations Committee last year to include authorization and funding for new starts and construction of flood protection projects in the Fiscal Year 2016 funding bill. The legislation includes nearly $690 million more than the Army Corps of Engineer’s proposed budget for construction and, in addition, authorizes new studies and construction activity that will help to advance flood protection projects in the Fargo-Moorhead and Minot regions.

I also worked to include language in the FY 2016 Energy and Water funding bill that will:

  • Help communities in North Dakota build permanent flood protection projects with an emphasis on public private partnerships like the permanent flood protection project for Fargo and the Red River Valley.
  • Provide permission for the Corps to begin studies of new permanent flood protection projects, which is vital for communities like Minot and the Souris River.
  • Increase the Corps funding for water development infrastructure over FY 2015. This increase will help communities like LaMoure with funding to replace sanitary sewer systems.
  • Increase the Corps’ funding for FEMA flood-mapping activities to better coordinate with flood insurance and keep premiums more affordable.

I pushed to make sure the Fiscal Year 2016 funding bill also include additional support for FEMA’s flood mapping activities. It explicitly directs FEMA to take local communities’ flood protection projects into consideration when mapping flood hazards and to coordinate the mapping process with the phases of large projects. The measure provides funding above the FY 2015 level for flood mitigation programs and boosts the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant.