Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday applauded the federal government’s decision to sign the Record of Decision for the Eastern North Dakota Alternate Water Supply (ENDAWS) project, clearing the final hurdle in the environmental review process and allowing construction of the project to proceed. The decision was signed by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.

“Ensuring a reliable and affordable water supply is essential to North Dakota’s people, our economy and the future growth of our state, and the Record of Decision marks a historic step in making this critical project a reality,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to Interior Secretary Bernhardt and the Bureau of Reclamation for their thorough review and timely approval of the ENDAWS project, and to our state’s congressional delegation and all the project partners for their advocacy of this critically important infrastructure to distribute our state’s valuable water supply and safeguard the economic health of our communities and citizens.”

When completed, the ENDAWS project will move up to 165 cubic feet of water per second, or 120,000 acre-feet per year, from the Missouri River to eastern North Dakota utilizing Garrison Diversion facilities, including the McClusky Canal built more than 50 years ago. It’s estimated the alternate water source for the Red River Valley Water Supply Project and Central North Dakota Water Supply Project will save taxpayers an estimated $200 million on project costs as well as future operating costs.