Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

You can’t blame Lincoln Mayor Gerald Wise if he feels a little unlucky with the city’s water supply.

The recent “boil order” issued after E. coli was found in one home was the latest in a series of unfortunate incidents. One incident happened this past winter.

"We had a power outage up by our tanks, which caused a miscommunication between the tanks and the pump system," Wise said. "It basically told the pumps the tank was empty."

A quick check showed that was not the case.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Water Commission’s section chief for the Northwest Area Water Supply project says he believes NAWS has a strong case to make to fight an appeal.

Court victory for NAWS supporters

Aug 12, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Fifteen years after the state began construction of the Northwest Area Water Supply Project – and 12 years after Manitoba sued to stop the project  -- a court has ruled the project meets the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act.

The project will bring water from Lake Sakakawea to Minot and surrounding areas of northwestern North Dakota.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said that would give the northwest an unlimited supply of water.

"In a drought year, you realize how important that is," Hoeven said.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Backers of a plan to bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley in times of drought say they may be able to take the water from the existing McClusky Canal, instead of a proposed intake near Washburn.

It’s a billion dollar project. But the project's backers say they will be able to save some money using the Canal option.

"You go with McClusky, you save $171 million," Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney told the Legislature's interim Water Topics Committee. "That's why we want to do that."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Supporters of a plan to bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley in times of drought say the project will help not only eastern North Dakota, but the central part of the state as well.

And they say it’s not just for drought relief.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney told the state Water Commission and the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Overview Committee – the infrastructure for the project will now serve about half the state’s population. He said some communities are interested in using the project to bring water for industrial expansion.

Leonard, ND to get a new water supply

Mar 14, 2016

The state Water Commission has approved a project to provide the city of Leonard, in Cass County, a new water supply.

The city had been getting its water from wells. But those wells have high levels of arsenic.

Duane Wadeson is from Leonard. He became ill in December, 2014.

"High fever, hair loss, nausea, high white blood count" were Wadeson's symptoms. He says at first, doctors couldn't find the problem. Then, he asked for a poison test.

"The arsenic in my body came up way, way high," Wadeson said. "It was higher than they'd ever seen in this area.'

The chairman of the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Overview Committee says he has a major concern over the state-versus-local funding split for the planning costs of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project.

That project would bring Missouri River Water to the Red River Valley in times of drought. The project’s backers say the planning costs would be 90 percent covered by state dollars, with the remaining 10 percent from local sources – in this case, the Lake Agassiz water board.

Supporters of a plan to bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley say it’s time to move forward.

$18 million has been spent on studying the Red River Valley Water Supply Project. And the total cost could be close to $1.1 billion.

Grand Forks City Councilman Ken Vien is the chairman of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District. He told the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Committee the hope is to have final plans drawn by the end of 2017, with construction to begin in 2018 and finish in 2024.

Water poilcy bill establishes a revolving loan fund

Apr 29, 2013

The new water policy bill passed by the Legislature has a provision for a revolving loan fund.

One of the architects of the measure – Rep. Curt Hofstad (R-Devils Lake) – says the idea came out of the Legislature’s Water Topics Overview Committee. He says right after the floods of 2011, representatives of several cities affected by the floodwaters appeared before that committee.

Money going out to rural water projects

Feb 14, 2013

It is the second “fast-tracked” spending bill of the session.

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to appropraite money for some rural water projects, Under it, $10 million will go to three projects – Stutsman County rural water, the North Central rural water consortium and the McLean-Sheridan rural water project. Another $21 million would go to the Southwest Pipeline project.

Fast tracking the bill means bids can be opened soon – and construction could start this spring.