Water Commission approves resolution to address Devils Lake flooding
Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced June 3 that the State Water Commission has unanimously approved three resolutions to address flooding in the Devils Lake Basin.
The resolutions were approved during a working group meeting held last week, when Commission members and staff, and officials from the Devils Lake region met to discuss plans for combating the basin’s rising waters.
“The state remains committed in its efforts to combat flooding in the Devils Lake Basin, and the resolutions passed unanimously by the State Water Commission reinforce that commitment and pave the way for more progress,” Dalrymple said. “We will continue to do all we can to address the rising waters of Devils Lake.”
The first resolution reinforces the Commission’s objective to reduce the water levels of Devils Lake. The state has developed a three-pronged strategy to alleviate flooding in the Devils Lake Basin that includes building a control structure at Tolna Coulee, constructing an east Devils Lake outlet and expanding the capacity of the currently operating west-end outlet. When completed, the total capacity of the two outlets will remove 600 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) from Devils Lake. The west-end outlet has been moving 150 cfs since last week.
Dalrymple announced last week that bids have been opened for the procurement of pipe that will be used for the construction of the east Devils Lake outlet. The Commission has been working with Bartlett & West/AECOM to design the outlet and expects to begin construction this summer. The pump-flow pipeline will be capable of transferring 350 cfs from Devils Lake into the Sheyenne River.
The second resolution directs the State Engineer to seek input from a working group of city and county leaders in the Devils Lake Basin regarding the design and construction of a control structure in the Tolna Coulee. A working group will be formed to advise the Commission as it proceeds with the project, ensuring that the ideas and concerns of those impacted are represented.
The final resolution adopted by the Commission directs the State Engineer to re-examine the data that was used in 2002 to determine the elevation of the Tolna Coulee.
At that time, the elevation was determined at 1,458 feet mean sea level, the elevation that was established at the time of statehood in 1889. The State Engineer will determine whether that elevation is correct and will provide data to the City of Devils Lake on request.