WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 06, 2010, 03:42 PM

Citizen's board wants water storage near Twin Valley

Ada, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A citizen’s board for the Wild Rice River is making a fight for flood control. The group wants to see some sort of water storage built near Twin Valley, to slow down the Wild Rice River. It's proposing creating a 540 acre lake, which would bring other benefits along with flood control.

Curt Jacobson is the chairman for the committee. He says talks for the need of a dam go back more than 50 years, and the new proposal is similar to one nearly passed in the 80's.

"It would of costs 25 million to build it then it'll cost 100 million to build it now"

Jacobson says the area from Ada to the Red River is set up to flood every year. The Wild Rice comes racing down on a steep slope and runs into flat land just west of Ada.

"It drops 300 ft from here to here"

Jacobson says along with the lay of the land water is being flushed quicker than past because of changes on farms and more roads being built, all of it making flood protection without a dam, impossible."

"Without main stem storage is about like taking my Ada Borup Cougars and tying one hand behind their back and put them up against the Timberwolves. It isn’t possible to get it done."

He says the town can keep putting up ring dikes every year; farmers can keep losing more land. Or the lake can be built creating recreational attraction, hydro electric power, and control flooding.

Jacobson says the benefits of a dam on the wild rice would be seen all the way to Winnipeg. People with the Red River Basin Commission are looking into a similar technique to help with flooding.

Supporters want to see water storage south of the Fargo area. They say one large reservoir would probably not work, because it would take up too much space. But multiple bodies of water to slow down the Red River is more realistic.

They've been in contact with other watershed districts up stream to find spots for holding water.

“Large retention projects, just one big large one somewhere, are very difficult to get permits for and they're hard to find good locations for that it's probably going to be a combination of a lot of different things, a lot of smaller strategies.”

Officials say slowing the water would really help places downstream that could be hurt by a diversion.