Hoeven Outlines Importance of Water Supply Projects to Interior Department Secretary, BOR Regional Director
Senator Reviews Progress on ENDAWS, NAWS Projects
COLEHARBOR, N.D. – In a meeting with Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Regional Director Brent Esplin today, Senator John Hoeven outlined the importance of advancing water infrastructure projects for maintaining a high quality of life and strong economic growth in North Dakota. Hoeven was joined at the meeting by Senator Kevin Cramer, Governor Doug Burgum, officials from the Garrison Diversion and other state and local leaders.
Hoeven stressed how the historic drought conditions impacting much of the state underline the need for reliable water supplies and highlighted key progress made in recent years on the:
- Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) Project.
- Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS) Project.
“Advancing projects like ENDAWS and NAWS is absolutely critical to ensuring our state has the infrastructure it needs to efficiently manage our water resources and provide a reliable, affordable water supply for our farmers, ranchers and communities,” said Hoeven. “This severe drought makes the importance of these projects all the more apparent. I appreciate the Interior Department and Reclamation for working with us to advance these critical projects in recent years, and I thank Deputy Secretary Beaudreau and Regional Director Esplin for being willing to learn more about how these efforts are key to the quality of life in our state.”
In January, Hoeven and the delegation announced that BOR had signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for ENDAWS. This was the final step of the federal environmental review process and enables the state to construct the project’s infrastructure and facilities.
The ROD followed the delegation’s efforts to advance the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 2019, Hoeven and Cramer secured a commitment from then-Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to keep the EIS process on track in order to maintain the Garrison Diversion’s timeline for the project.
The ENDAWS project will 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. The Garrison Diversion estimates that 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.
Construction of the NAWS project began during Hoeven’s time as governor, and the system became operational during his term, delivering water to Berthold, Burlington, Glenburn, Kenmare, Max, Minot, Mohall and Sherwood. As senator, he has continued working to advance the project, including:
- Supporting the state’s efforts to address legal hurdles.
- A federal court ruled in 2017 that the EIS for NAWS fulfilled the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), with the court dismissing the lawsuits brought against the project.
- Pressing BOR and the Environmental Protection Agency to agree on a water treatment plan.
- Urging BOR to advance the project by designating, as its preferred alternative, Lake Sakakawea as the primary water supply.
Reclamation’s preferred alternative recognizes the need for the NAWS project system to provide up to 26 million gallons of Missouri River water per day to more than 100,000 North Dakotans. The project is being funded with federal, state and local dollars from the communities that will use the water, with the system designed to provide service through 2060.
Additional Efforts with BOR
In addition to Hoeven’s efforts to advance the water supply projects, the senator successfully worked to advance the following priorities for North Dakota:
- Transferring the title for the Oakes Test Area to the Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District (DSID).
- Authorizing and securing the transfer of federal lands around Patterson Lake and the Jamestown Reservoir to local authorities, allowing homeowners to purchase their lots.
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