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Cramer Assembles Garrison Diversion Meeting with Interior Secretary Zinke

Oct 25, 2017
Press Release
In meeting, Secretary Zinke says “as of today we are taking a fresh look at this project.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Kevin Cramer orchestrated a meeting between Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, officials with Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, Lake Agassiz Water Authority, and City of Fargo. Cramer, who served alongside Secretary Zinke during his time in the House, attended the meeting held at the Department of Interior.

“I appreciate the Secretary taking the time to meet with us today,” said Cramer. “I thought the meeting went well, and I’m optimistic about getting the water supply project done; it’s been promised for over 65 years. The project stands to benefit eastern North Dakota, but the whole state will save money; and it’s going to deliver a fresh supply of water for municipal and industrial use. If we’re going to have economic development take off in the eastern part of the state, we need a reliable supply of water from the Garrison Diversion. It’s refreshing to have an Administration that’s willing to work with us and take a fresh look at this project.”

The meeting was held to update Zinke on the water project and to garner his support for federal approval of supplying water out of the McClusky Canal for municipal, rural, and industrial uses, which has been halted on numerous occasions by various administrations. Secretary Zinke told officials attending the meeting to expect a response from the Department of the Interior in the near future.

After being stalled multiple times, Cramer is pushing for the federal government to hold up their promise made with the state of North Dakota when the Garrison Dam was built. In exchange for permanently flooding 300,000 acres of prime farmland, North Dakota was promised a water distribution system that would bring Missouri River water to the central and eastern part of the state for a variety of uses. For a full history of the Garrison Diversion, click here.

Cramer has taken on the role of seeing this project through to the finish line so the promise of Missouri River water to eastern North Dakota can finally become a reality.