Hoeven Secures Commitment from BOR Commissioner to Work on Funding ENDAWS
Senator Invites Commissioner Touton to Again Visit North Dakota
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week secured a commitment from Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Camille Touton to work with him on funding the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) Project. Hoeven raised the priority during a hearing of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, stressing the importance of the project in ensuring a reliable water supply in the Red River Valley, particularly during times of drought, while highlighting the opportunity for BOR to generate revenue through Garrison Diversion facilities, which are currently underutilized.
In particular, Hoeven highlighted an issue where BOR is utilizing the municipal, rural, and industrial (MR&I) water supply program funding to cover biota water treatment costs, which affects the availability of funds for projects like ENDAWS. Touton committed to continue working with the senator to resolve the issue. The senator also invited Touton to again visit North Dakota, building upon her visit last year to review the state’s water supply projects.
“North Dakotans know well the challenges of water management, both in terms of flooding and drought. ENDAWS will serve as a critical tool to ensure the Red River Valley has a reliable water supply when it is needed most,” said Hoeven. “We’ve made important progress on this priority in recent years, but more needs to be done, including preserving MR&I funding for its intended use. I appreciate Commissioner Touton’s commitment to address this issue and help ensure funding for ENDAWS, as well as her responsiveness as we continue working to get this important project across the finish line.”
The hearing builds on Hoeven’s efforts with the North Dakota delegation to secure a completed Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and a signed Record of Decision (ROD) for ENDAWS. The ROD was the final step of the federal environmental review process and enables the state to construct the project’s infrastructure and facilities. The design phase for ENDAWS began in 2022, with construction expected to follow in 2024.
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.
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