Friday, August 13, 2021 - 06:53 pm

At the North Dakota State Water Commission meeting chaired by Governor Burgum on August 12, the Commission approved $95.9 million in cost-share requests. Of that total, $21.4 million was from Legislative appropriations included in the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) budget bill, House Bill 1020, and $74.5 million was from the infrastructure bonding bill, House Bill 1431.  The Commission voted to approve funding for several municipal and rural water supply, flood control, and general water projects across the state. 

The Water Commission supports local sponsors in development of sustainable water-related projects in North Dakota through the DWR Cost-Share Program.  The primary purpose of the DWR Cost-Share Program is to assist local project sponsors with financial support of water development projects – making them more affordable to local constituents.

“These critical infrastructure projects will meet essential needs in our communities and make them more resilient against flooding and droughts,” Burgum said. “We are grateful to the Legislature for the legislation that reorganized and refocused the Department of Water Resources, and to the oil and gas industry, which provides 100% of the Resources Trust Fund revenue that makes these projects possible.”

The largest cost-share approval at the August 12 Commission meeting included $84.5 million for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project (MREFPP).  Since the devastating Mouse River basin flood events of 2011, the state has committed over $313 million toward the advancement of the MREFPP to protect Minot, rural areas, and other communities along the Mouse River from future flood-related impacts. 

“The State of North Dakota has made unprecedented progress on water development projects in the last several biennia. With continued support from our Legislature, the Governor’s Office, local project sponsors, and the State Water Commission, North Dakota is well-positioned to continue making advancements in critical water infrastructure in all areas of the state,” said Andrea Travnicek, director of the Department of Water Resources. 

The 10-member Water Commission consists of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, and eight members appointed by the governor to serve six-year terms, including four new members appointed in late July:

  • James Odermann, a Belfield rancher, who represents the Little Missouri, Upper Heart and Upper Cannonball river basins.
  • Connie Ova, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., who represents the James River Basin.
  • April Walker, consulting firm owner and former Fargo city engineer, who represents the Upper Red River Basin.
  • Gene Veeder, a McKenzie County rancher and board member for the McKenzie County Job Development Authority, who represents the Upper Missouri River Basin.

For additional information, please visit the Department of Water Resources’ website at