Groundbreaking is taking place Tuesday for the Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP).

It's been in the work for decades, now the Associated Press is reporting a ceremonial pipeline groundbreaking is planned for Tuesday near Carrington.   The project is headed up by the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District.  This time by "diversion", we mean pumping water from the Missouri River south of Washburn all the way across the state to Cooperstown on our east side.

Groundbreaking? We've been building it for awhile now.

As usual, I'm late to the party with this story, since they've ALREADY started construction on the darn thing!

The North Dakota Legislature this year appropriated $50 million toward the project and $30 million two years ago. The money has allowed some work to be done at the intake structure near Washburn, the discharge structure near Cooperstown, and a little more than a mile of pipeline placement south of Carrington

From the official RRVWSP website...

In December 2020, ICS, Inc. began work on the Missouri River intake wet well approximately four miles south of Washburn.

Ultimately, the one hundred and sixty seven miles of pipeline is projected to deliver 165 cubic feet of water per second during peak usage. The water would enter into the Sheyenne River, which would eventually make it's way into the north-flowing Red River.

$1 Billion North Dakota Water Pipeline Now Accepting Protesters

Sure, this isn't an oil pipeline, but it's over a billion dollars to ship water from the west to the east.  That's gotta flip somebody's switch!  If you go the the RRVWSP website, you'll see their mission statement is "Serving the Water Supply Needs of Central North Dakota and the Red River Valley".

What's the Central North Dakota benefit in all this?  Cash and jobs I suppose.

Before North Dakota really gets cooking on rerouting it's water, the state has to finish up flood protection projects in Fargo and Minot. From floods to droughts, North Dakota's having a tricky time finding the happy medium between the two.  In 2011, Minot would have loved to have had a big ol' pipeline to pump that rising floodwater right back into Canada!

Loudest protesters most likely from out of state.

In a "just do it and ask for permission later" moment, North Dakota and the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District seem to be hijacking the river's resources.  The goal is to ensure water flow in the Red River to avoid any catastrophic drought consequences to our eastern population centers. Sounds good, until Missouri starts getting really chirpy with their legal teams.

Along with funding, the project is hampered by an ongoing fight over management of the Missouri River. North Dakota wants to hold releases in the upstream reservoirs for drought mitigation projects and to support fish reproduction and recreation. Downstream states want more water released from the dams, mainly to support barge traffic.

Seems we're pretty confident North Dakota will come out on top of any legal squabbles.  The type of confidence that already started writing checks for construction.

Backers of the project hope to have it finished this decade.

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