The North Dakota Joint Summer Water Meeting is considered a joint meeting because during parts of the three days they meet, Garrison Diversion and Water Resource Districts hang out and do business, sometimes independently, at other times together. This week it was at the Holiday Inn of Fargo, and I will report briefly on my jumping around to cover both organizations:
Mostly I spent time with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) side as Director Travnicek outlined what was new in her bailiwick. This included a ton of info, with new positions added, current budgets, strategic plans and so forth. Two Water Commissioners, Mike Anderson of the Lower Red River basin and James Oderman of the Upper Cannonball and Heart River basin discussed cost share updates. I wrote of this in Murphy’s Law Blog #8 and it is of concern to producers on at least two fronts which would be rural water systems and cost share for assessment drains. Meeting and speaking with these commissioners, several legislators, many DWR personnel and WRD people as well as Rural Water and City Association folks helped me understand and get our message out. Please make sure your legislators and State Water Commissioners know that reducing either would result in higher user rates and make those drains less affordable. If you have any connection to DWR personnel but especially the Governor’s office, it would be worth the effort to have a conversation. Email address to type in is: firstname.lastname@example.org You have until August 15, 2022. I can also tell you that a couple of farmers thanked NDSGA for representing agriculture at these water meetings
I jumped to the Garrison side when they had their Agriculture Committee meeting. At issue was the new building for the Oakes Irrigation Research site. This project has been on SBARE’s list before and has a lot of community support. According to the committee, not only irrigation but dryland research will also take place here and will provide non-biased corn, soybean and dry bean research where it is most needed.
On my way to the car, but still in the hotel, I was stopped by a water attorney who asked if I knew the people sitting with him. While introducing myself, one said that he was a member of NDSGA. That had never happened to me and instead of stopping to say thank you, I continued meeting the other folks. My bad. Thank you for being a member and please recruit!
Okay, this is a continuation of reporting from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) meeting that I spoke of in Murphy’s Law...