North Dakota, Manitoba work to settle differences over NAWS

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota and Canadian officials are working to settle differences over a long-delayed project that would bring Missouri River water to residents of northwestern North Dakota.

Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer last August ruled that the $244 million Northwest Area Water Supply project first authorized by Congress 31 years ago complies with federal environmental law. But, the Canadian province of Manitoba and the state of Missouri appealed over concerns about water quality and water depletion.

Officials with Minot and the State Water Commission says Manitoba might be willing to drop the appeal in exchange for being involved in the NAWS design.

State NAWS director Tim Freije says Missouri's appeal is tied to Manitoba's, and he doesn't think Missouri has a strong case on its own.