(September 11, 2018) A major milestone has been achieved for the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) and the Lake Agassiz Water Authority, representing water users in central North Dakota. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has completed the Environmental Assessment and released the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Issuance of a Water Service Contract to Garrison Diversion Conservancy District for the Central North Dakota Water Supply Project.
The FONSI proposes to issue a water service contract for 20 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from the McClusky Canal, a Special Use Permit, and to approve authorization of a preference power contract to Garrison Diversion for the Central North Dakota Water Supply Project, which will serve industrial water needs in areas of Burleigh, Sheridan, Wells, Foster, Kidder, McLean and Stutsman Counties.
Garrison Diversion’s request for a water service contract and preference power are in response to requests by communities and rural water systems in North Dakota who have determined that the projected industrial water needs cannot be met by existing supplies. A supplemental water supply is needed for continued growth and industrial development in the region and to support economic development in Central North Dakota.
“The water will be supplied for industrial purposes for Stutsman Rural Water District, Jamestown, Carrington, Central Plains Water District, Tuttle and South Central Regional Water District,” says Tim Mahoney, Lake Agassiz Water Authority Chairman. “Other sources of water supply have been reviewed, including existing groundwater sources. The projected industrial growth water needs will exceed the existing State Water Commission groundwater permits, creating the potential to limit future industrial development within the region.”
“This is a step toward putting the McClusky Canal to beneficial use for municipal, rural and industrial purposes, as North Dakota was promised with the Garrison Diversion Unit Project,” says Duane DeKrey, Garrison Diversion General Manager. “Utilizing the canal for MR&I, in addition to the irrigation currently taking place from the McClusky Canal, is a big step forward for Garrison Diversion.