ND Governor reaffirms state’s position on water rights


Governor Jack Dalrymple today again urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abandon its proposal to charge North Dakota’s water users for access to Lake Sakakawea.

Dalrymple reiterated his opposition to the Corps’ water fee plan during a telephone conversation with Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering plans to charge businesses, farmers and other water users a “storage fee” based on the amount of water they draw from the Lake Sakakawea. The Corps first proposed the storage fee in its draft Lake Sakakawea Surplus Water Report released in December 2010.

“I again told Assistant Secretary Darcy that we have a legal right to that water,” Dalrymple said. “Using its easements to block North Dakota’s access to its own rightful water supplies is an attempt to achieve monetary gain where none is justified.”

“The Missouri River, including Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe, is valuable to the state of North Dakota and is a resource that should be readily available to access without cost,” he said.

Source: the office of Governor Dalrymple