Delegation, Governor Respond to Corps' Decision to Allow Withdrawal of Water from Lake Sakakawea

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer and Governor Jack Dalyrmple today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to allow the withdrawal of water from Lake Sakakawea as authorized by the first Surplus Water Agreement under Section 6 of the 1944 Flood Control Act:

“Colonel Joel R. Cross, Omaha District Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, announced Wednesday that the Corps reached an agreement to allow International Western to withdraw surplus water from Lake Sakakawea at the Thompson site located in Williams County, N.D.

“The Army Corps’ decision to release this water without charging a fee is the correct one. Unfortunately, the Corps reiterated that it may charge fees for this water in the future, in violation of the 1944 Flood Control Act, which sets forth special conditions for managing the Missouri River. States have the right to water naturally flowing through their borders, and we continue to press the Corps to drop any plan to charge for water from Lake Sakakawea. North Dakotans have a right to this water free of charge, and the Corps should not hinder their access to it.”