Special for the Times-Record
BISMARCK, ND — The North Dakota Department of Water Resources (DWR) and State Water Commission (SWC) are seeking comments on proposed changes to the cost-sharing program policy. The amendments update SWC’s current general project funding policy, procedure and requirements as well as SWC’s project prioritization guidance document.
DWR’s Cost-Sharing Program provides financial support to local sponsors in the development of sustainable water-related projects in North Dakota. The last time the SWC made a larger-scale change to cost-sharing policies was in 2014.
The process of updating both documents began in December 2021 with multiple public discussions on the SWC. The updates provide new and clarified definitions, changes to cost-sharing percentages for water projects, capital improvement planning, fire protection eligibility criteria, incentives for more efficient water supply filling and regionalization projects, and more.
“The National Water Commission and the Department of Water Resources strive to ensure that cost-sharing policies are periodically reviewed to meet changing conditions, clarifications and provide a sustainable program for planning and development of water projects,” said Andrea Travnicek, Director of DWR. “We encourage everyone to review the proposed changes and provide feedback for consideration.”
The DWR also releases a draft inventory of water projects for public review that have been submitted to the agency for planning and budgeting purposes. The inventory project includes water projects that could potentially approach the SWC for cost-shared assistance totaling $1 billion in the 2023-2025 biennium. A final inventory of the projects will be published by the end of the year in a 2023 Water Development Plan.
On July 1, 2022, the draft Cost-Sharing Policy, Prioritization Guidelines, and Project Inventory will be made available for a 45-day public comment period – ending August 15, 2022. In addition, they will be also discussed at eight SWC- hosted basin meetings in July 2022.
“I would really like to encourage people to attend one of the Water Commissioner’s meetings that will be taking place over the next few weeks,” said Water Commission Vice Chairman Richard Johnson. “The Pool Meetings are a great opportunity for the public to hear what’s new at DWR and with the Commission, and more importantly, for attendees to interact with us in person and let us know. of their comments.
The draft documents and the schedule of meetings will be available on www.dwr.nd.gov. Comments may be submitted by mail to DWR at 900 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505 or by email to [email protected]
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