ND Delegation: Interior Signs Record of Decision for ENDAWS, Final Step In Federal Environmental Review

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong today announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) has signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) Project. This is the final step of the federal environmental review process and provides the required authorization for the state to construct the project’s infrastructure and facilities.

“We appreciate Interior and BOR for working with us to move this process forward and signing the Record of Decision in a timely manner, as it is a critical step in making the ENDAWS project a reality,” said Senator Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee. “When completed, this project will provide certainty for communities across the eastern portion of North Dakota by ensuring access to a reliable and affordable water supply.” 

“Reliable water infrastructure and supply is critical to North Dakota’s economy and development. This project is long-overdue and incredibly beneficial to the entire Red River Basin, and I am pleased Interior is progressing toward making it a reality,” said Senator Cramer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Water. “I appreciate the Bureau of Reclamation sticking to Secretary Bernhardt’s commitment to get this completed in a timely manner.” 

“This Record of Decision is long-awaited and welcome, after years of hard work by countless advocates, including Senators Hoeven and Cramer,” said Congressman Armstrong. “The ENDAWS project will play a critical role in continuing to provide a reliable water supply for thousands of North Dakota’s residents and I am glad to see it come to fruition.”  

“The project will use existing Garrison Diversion Unit facilities to meet contemporary water needs in the state,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This infrastructure project will deliver a reliable and affordable water supply to farmers, ranchers and families in half of North Dakota.”

The ENDAWS project would 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. The ROD will help secure an additional contract to bring the total water allowed from the Garrison Diversion up to 165 cubic feet per second (CFS).

Today’s announcement follows the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) last month, which the delegation worked to advance. During his visit to North Dakota in October 2019, Senators Hoeven and Cramer secured a commitment from DOI Secretary David Bernhardt to keep the EIS process on track in order to maintain the Garrison Diversion’s timeline for the project.