WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 02, 2010, 10:52 AM

Farm Bill: Retention money could help support flood diversion

(WDAY TV) - Water retention money from the next farm bill could garner more support for a flood diversion. This is one of many brain-storming sessions for policy and water leaders on how to spend 500 million dollars over the next 10-years.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

They must reach that financial threshold to be included. One possibility is providing low interest loans for farmers to tile their fields. Water retention could help ease the concerns of people living downstream.

“It is a daunting task to get funding in place for a diversion to provide flood protection in Fargo-Moorhead. Where was the money going to come from for the conservation? This is where looking to the Farm Bill was a breakthrough.”

Congressman Collin Peterson chairs the house Agriculture committee and feels confident about getting this funding written into the farm bill.

He says the money will have to come from other areas included in the bill because there is no extra money, but he says the committee did this before for the Chesapeake Bay area in 2008 and will have to do it again if House leaders want to pass a bill with him as chair of the Ag Committee.

“I told them it's going to be part of the Farm Bill and we're going to need to make this work and they said okay.”

If the funding is in the farm bill it's guaranteed each year, appropriated money changes from year to year.