Hoeven Working to Advance Critical Water Supply Projects in North Dakota
Senator Discusses Progress on NAWS, ENDAWS & RRVWS Projects with BOR Commissioner
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Camille Touton in North Dakota to advance regional water projects in the state. Through his role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hoeven invited Touton to visit the state and has been working with her to continue moving North Dakota’s priorities forward, including the following projects:
- Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS).
- Hoeven has worked since his time as governor to advance NAWS.
- As senator, he supported efforts to address the project’s legal hurdles and helped secure agreement from BOR and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a water treatment plan.
- The biota water treatment facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
- Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS).
- Earlier this year, Hoeven and the delegation helped secure a signed Record of Decision (ROD) for ENDAWS, which 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 is expected to begin in 2022, with construction following in 2023.
- Red River Valley Water Supply (RRVWS).
- ENDAWS will allow for additional water to be released from BOR facilities at the McClusky Canal to help reduce project costs for the state-led RRVWS.
- Hoeven continues working to help ensure BOR and the Garrison Diversion reach a reasonable cost of water for the project.
“Last year’s historic drought reinforced the need for affordable and reliable water supplies,” said Hoeven. “That’s why I’ve worked both as governor and as U.S. Senator to advance efforts like the NAWS, ENDAWS and RRVWS projects. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss these critical water projects with BOR Commissioner Touton in North Dakota today, as well as her continued willingness to work with us in moving them forward.”
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 EPA 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 27 million gallons of Missouri River water per day to nearly 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 the year 2060.
Prior to the ROD being signed, Hoeven worked with the North Dakota delegation to advance the ENDAWS’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 2019, Hoeven and Senator 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.
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