State Water Commission votes on drought, flood measures

Published: Jun. 22, 2017 at 9:14 PM CDT
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Gov. Doug Burgum and the state water commission voted on funding measures that affect a number of issues throughout the entire state.

"Today, we requested to the water commission that they reactivate the drought disaster livestock water supply assistance program. The funding request was for $250,000," said Patrick Fridgen, planning and education director for the water commission.

Fridgen says the drought has gotten to the point where this program needs to be reinstated.

"We looked at the new drought monitor that was released this morning. Those counties that were determined to have extreme drought impacts or the D3 impact level, those for sure are going to be included in the designation." said Fridgen.

But, on the flip side, the commission also discussed how to keep flood waters at bay. Many Minot city officials were there to push the commission to follow through on funding long term flood protection projects.

"Funding that was allocated to Ward County after the 2011 flood. The county isn't going to use all that funding, so we are asking the state water commission to reallocate about 5 million dollars’ worth of that funding,“ said Dan Jonasson, director of public works for Minot.

That money will be used to continue buying out properties that sit in the way of future levees that are part of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project.

The Commission also approved measures funding the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative for the next two years and more than $900,000 in funding for repairs to the existing levee system.