Governor Jack Dalrymple on Wednesday said the state is on schedule to begin construction of a second water outlet at Devils Lake.
The State Water Commission is working with engineering firms to finalize the design of an East Devils Lake outlet and expects to award a bid for piping and pipe materials by late May. Construction is expected to begin this summer when weather and ground conditions permit.
“We need to do all that we can to keep this project on schedule,” Dalrymple said. “The construction of an east-end outlet is a major part of our strategy to alleviate flooding in the Devils Lake Basin and to protect downstream communities.”
Dalrymple has approved two executive orders that allow the State Water Commission to expedite the construction of an east-end outlet and the construction of a control structure at Tolna Coulee.
Plans for an east-end water outlet call for constructing an underground, 96-inch pipeline from East Devils Lake to the downstream side of Tolna Coulee. The pump-flow pipeline will be capable of transferring 350 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) from Devils Lake into the Sheyenne River.
From East Devils Lake, the pipeline will run about five miles southeast to Tolna Coulee. The outlet and pipeline project allows for winter construction and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012. The water outlet project is expected to cost between $62 million and $90 million.
The project was developed in collaboration with area stakeholders including the city of Devils Lake, the Ramsey County Commission, the Spirit Lake Nation and Valley City.
Dalrymple said the East Devils Lake outlet is part of a larger strategy to alleviate flooding in the Devils Lake Basin and to protect downstream interests. In addition to building an East Devils Lake outlet, the state is moving forward with plans to build a water control structure at Tolna Coulee and also plans to expand the lake’s west-end outlet to increase water discharges from 250 cfs to 350 cfs. The current west-end outlet will be in operation again this summer.
State Engineer Todd Sando said the location of the East Devils Lake outlet was selected after comprehensive evaluation of all options. The east-end outlet plan offers the quickest and most efficient way to move additional water off the lake. State officials said plans to build an east-end outlet in any other location would likely be delayed by federal regulation, international treaties and litigation.
Source: the office of Governor Dalrymple