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Other Water Sources

The primary water source for the Fargo Water Treatment Plant is the Red River.  The Midtown Dam pools are a sufficient depth of water to accommodate a water intake.  The city also has alternative sources of water that can be used under extraordinary circumstances.  An intake and pumping station on the Sheyenne River south of West Fargo can deliver water via pipeline to the treatment plant.  The City of Fargo also owns 52% of the stored water rights to Lake Ashtabula, acquired by funding construction of the Baldhill Dam at Valley City.  During a drought, water from the lake can be released into the Sheyenne River to provide water for Fargo’s needs.  Approximately a 2-year supply of water exists in the lake.  This source was used during the dry years of 1976, 1984, and 1988. 

Future water needs are being addressed by the City of Fargo through a collabrative effort with the State of North Dakota, Garrison Diversion Conservancy District and the Bureau of Reclamation.  The Red River Water Supply Project is a proposal to bring water from the Missouri River to the Red River Valley via existing canals, treating it at the headwaters and pumping via pipeline to Lake Ashtabula.  The lake will act as a holding reservoir and water will be released from the Baldhill Dam into the Sheyenne River and transported to the Fargo intake on the river southwest of the community. 

The Environmental Impact Statement) for this project has been completed and accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  A Record of Decision for this project will be published in the Federal Register in early 2008 and forwarded to the U.S. Congress for acceptance. After this step, efforts will be made to have Congress authorize the project, and then federal funding will be sought for the treatment plant and 33% of the costs of construction. State and local funds will be committed once the federal authorization and appropriation of funds is finalized. The project is expected to begin in 2010 and it will take six years to construct.

Once constructed, the Red River Supply Project will supplement existing water supplies within the Red River Basin in times of need, such as during severe drought conditions.