US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Risks of Biota Transfers Potentially Associated with Surface Water Diversions Between the Missouri River and Hudson Bay Watersheds

Final Report, August 2007


U.S. Government Work


Through the Garrison Diversion Unit Reformulation Act of 1986, the Municipal, Rural and Industrial Water Supply (MR&I) program was authorized by the US Congress on May 12, 1986. This act authorized the appropriation of $200 million of Federal funds for the planning and construction of water supply facilities throughout North Dakota. The Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS) project was developed as a result of this authorization and was initiated in November 1987. NAWS is a bulk water distribution system that will service local communities and rural water systems in 10 counties in northwestern North Dakota, including the community of Minot (Executive Summary, Figure 1). Source waters for NAWS will be derived from Lake Sakakawea in the Missouri River basin of North Dakota and will be transferred to Minot, North Dakota, in the Souris River basin of the Hudson Bay watershed. Hence, an interbasin water diversion will result from the water supply project. The Dakotas Area Office (DKAO), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) requested technical support from the US Geological Survey (USGS) Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) for an evaluation of the risks of biota transfers potentially associated with the water transfer between the Missouri River basin in North Dakota and the Hudson Bay basin in North Dakota. This analysis considered (1) an evaluation of failures in control systems (particularly water treatment and containment) and (2) a preliminary analysis of risks and consequences potentially linked to biota transfers potentially realized, if control system1 failure occurred.