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Published October 02, 2012, 09:31 PM

Eastern Dakota officials start thinking about drought planning

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- After record breaking floods, it's almost hard to believe. But a group says the clock is ticking. Eastern North Dakota could be running out of water.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- After record breaking floods, it's almost hard to believe. But a group says the clock is ticking. Eastern North Dakota could be running out of water.

The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District 's been denied federal funding, so it's looking at other options to get a pipeline from the Missouri River to the Garrison dam.

Bruce Furness/Lake Agassiz Water Authority: "We have a problem here. We either have too much water or too little water. Never in the right place."

That pretty much sums it up. Low water levels are a big problem in the Red River Valley. The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District is trying to tackle the drought, an issue it calls worse than flooding.

Furness: "Flood problems you can take action and prepare for, and it doesn't affect as many people."

The District wants to move water to eastern North Dakota - by constructing a pipeline from the Missouri River into Lake Ashtabula, with the Baldhill Dam acting as a switch, to bring the Red River Valley Water if necessary.

The Maple River is one of many that leads into the Red River. Take a look at how low it is. USGS says its about 6 feet below average. And if it stays this way for a long time, some say there could be serious consequences.

Dave Koland/Garrison Diversion Conservancy District: "Red River is the principal supply for the city of Fargo. "

The river being a key supply of drinking water. The district says there's only a year and a half water backed up to support Fargo if the drought continues - and there's no telling how long it will last.

Koland: "That's the natural weather cycle in this part of the country, to go through periods of flood, and periods of drought."

The federal government says it won't help with funding. So the district is moving on to Plan B - getting state and local entities to pitch in, and make this concept a reality.

The proposed pipeline is estimated to be more than 600 million dollars.

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