US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



United States Geological Survey publication, July 2005, 298 p.


U.S. government work.


Section 1 provides a brief overview of the project, including a cursory summary of the history of the “Garrison Diversion” and how that history relates to this work focused on the analysis of risks and consequences potentially associated with interbasin biota transfers. The present study was initiated under the auspices of the Dakota Water Resources Act (DWRA) of 2000, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a comprehensive study of the water quality and quantity needs of the Red River Valley and the options for meeting those needs. As such, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) requested technical support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) for an evaluation of the risks and economic consequences of biota transfers potentially associated with interbasin water transfers that might occur between the Upper Missouri River and the Red River of the North (Red River) basins. Pursuant to guidance from National Academy of Sciences, National Invasive Species Council, regulatory agencies (e.g., US Environmental Protection Agency), and nongovernmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and awardees of Sea Grant program support, USGS/CERC entered into an iterative risk-assessment process with stakeholders interested in the biota transfer issue. Section 1 summarizes the implementation of the stepwise risk-assessment process, with the primary outcomes of the section detailed in the problem formulation phase of the USGS technical support project. Outcomes of problem formulation were focused on identifying biota of concern and related issues associated with interbasin biota transfers, pathways potentially linking Missouri River and Red River basins, and the potential confounding factors that might influence the interpretation of cause-effect relationships predicated on biota transfers, if these events did occur in the future.