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City, ASWUD wait on state for more water

By Staff | Dec 20, 2013

The City of Rugby and All Seasons Water Users District have to play the waiting game while the state water commission decides whether or not to grant an additional 100 acre feet of water to the city.

ASWUD is requesting an additional 100 acre feet and 100 gallons per minute from the city as the rural district foresees growth. The city is also concerned about growth and would like to grant the ASWUD request if the state first meets the city’s request for the additional water out of the Pleasant Lake Aquifer.

Representatives from both entities met with the state last week in Bismarck. Before responding, the state water commission will discuss the proposed addition for the city with the state’s Game and Fish department and other agencies involved with the environment impacted by more water being drawn.

“With the high water since back in the early ’90s – that’s when we were driest from ’88 to ’93 – we’ve had and abundance of water since,” said Terry Wentz, chairman of the Rugby water, sewer and street committee.

ASWUD board member Jon Nelson said the rural district is prepared to offer the water rights it holds at the new Chalmers housing addition to the city, if it receives the extra 100 acre feet requested.

“It has been a good partnership and it should continue,” Nelson said. “It’s more efficient for the city to serve water if they’re putting sewer there anyway.”

The city has the permits to 182 acre feet it is not using.

“We want to cover the city of Rugby first and we’re cautious about moving,” Wentz said.

Both men are optimistic their respective wishes can be met with a new contract, but Wentz doesn’t expect an answer from the state until three to six months from now.

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