Hoeven Statement on Passage of the Water Resources Development Act

Legislation Includes Hoeven Provisions to Prohibit Missouri River Surplus Water Fees & Address Recreation Area Maintenance, Including for Lake Oahe and Lake Sakakawea

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after helping to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Hoeven included the following North Dakota priorities in the legislation: 

  • Permanently extends a provision Hoeven originally secured in the 2014 WRDA bill that prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from charging storage fees for water drawn from the Missouri River.
    • Hoeven had initially introduced his legislation as a standalone bill, theStates’ Water Rights Act.
  • Addresses deferred maintenance for recreation areas on Corps land: The bill includes Hoeven language requiring the Corps to report to Congress on the investments needed to support recreational activities on Corps lands, provide a plan to pay for deferred maintenance projects at Corps recreational areas and outline efforts to coordinate with state and local officials to improve recreational areas and facilities.
    • This builds on Hoeven’s efforts to ensure the Corps improves recreation areas, including repairs for boat ramps to ensure lake access, around Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.
  • Extends authorization for the Corps’ Section 594 rural water program.
    • Hoeven has prioritized this program in annual appropriations bills to help smaller communities in North Dakota make needed improvements to their water and sewer systems. 

“We worked to include important priorities for North Dakota as part of the Water Resources Development Act,” said Hoeven. “The legislation helps advance water development projects in our state, like the Red River Valley Water Supply Project. We worked to include language to protect our state’s water rights by permanently prohibiting the Army Corps from charging states for water drawn from the Missouri River. At the same time, it continues our efforts to ensure the Army Corps addresses maintenance needs at recreation areas around Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe. We are pleased that this important legislation will now be signed into law.”