Federal judge gives green light to NAWS project

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)- A federal court has ruled in favor of a $244 million project aimed at bringing water from the Missouri River to residents of northwestern North Dakota.

Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled Thursday that the Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS) project complies with federal environmental law.

NAWS has been tied up in the courts the last 15 years between the state of Missouri and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who broke the news Friday in Minot, said the approval allows the project to tap into water from Lake Sakakawea.

“It took a leap of faith. I mean, we had to think very hard, and very carefully, are we going to keep building this project, knowing that we've gotta win this litigation. And we made the decision to go ahead, and it's proven to be a very good thing we did,” said Hoeven.

Work can now begin on a treatment plant near Max, N.D.