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Low Head Dams

Low head dams are usually simple concrete or rock masonry structures that span the width of the river or stream, raising the water level behind them until it reaches a height sufficient to flow over the dam. These low head dams can create dangerous conditions that recreational river users may not be aware of or may underestimate. Under the right conditions, water flowing over the dam can cause a “roller effect” on the downstream side of the dam. Strong recirculating currents can trap and drown boaters, swimmers, or other water users. More information regarding safety at dams is available at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

Over, Under, Gone: The Killer in Our Rivers (Video Link)

This map represents the known low head dams in North Dakota. If you are aware of any low head dams that are not included on this map, please contact Alexis Cook, Dam Safety Engineer at (701) 328-4960 or e-mail.

Low Head Dam Sign

Because low head dams are known to be dangerous, the State Water Commission is providing free cautionary safety signs to the owners of these dams that may be in your area. We will provide up to two signs per dam, free of charge. However, installation efforts will be a local responsibility. For more information on these free dam safety signs, please call (701) 328-2760 or e-mail.

2018 SWC-Hosted Meetings

The State Water Commission will be conducting a series of meetings throughout the state in July to facilitate local participation in the water development planning process per NDCC § 61-02-01.3. The meetings will be located within the state’s seven major drainage basins, including the upper and lower Red River, James River, Mouse River, upper and lower Missouri River, and Devils Lake basins.

Meeting locations, dates, and times (Schedule)

Meeting Agenda

June - Upcoming Workshop

Economic And Life Cycle Cost Analysis, June 21, 2018, BSC National Energy Center of Excellence; Bavendick Stateroom, 1200 Schafer St, Bismarck,ND 58501, 9am - 5pm

The North Dakota State Water Commission will provide a workshop to educate project sponsors or their consultants about the new guidance and models for Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Cost Analysis processes that have been developed.

Per Legislative mandate, starting with the 2019-2021 biennium, an Economic Analysis will be required for SWC-funded water conveyance and flood related projects expected to cost more than one million dollars. Also, a Life Cycle Cost Analysis will be required for water supply projects.

A draft agenda is available for review and download here. You will notice that the Life Cycle Cost Analysis guidance and model will be covered in the morning. And Economic Analysis will be in the afternoon. This will allow workshop participants the option to attend one or the other if they so choose.

The workshop is free of charge, but you are required to register for the workshop in advance because there are limited spots available. The deadline for registration is June 7, 2018. If you are unable to attend, the workshop will be recorded and a video webcast will be accessible from the SWC website in the future.

To register, please send an email that includes your name, phone number, and organization.

Upcoming Water Commission Meetings

In order to access the bookmark function for the agendas, please view this document via a Firefox browser or download it and view in Adobe Acrobat.

June 14, 2018 / 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Brynhild Haugland Room, State Capitol, Bismarck

August 9, 2018 / 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Couteau Room, 1st Floor, Judicial Wing, State Capitol, Bismarck

October 11, 2018 / 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Brynhild Haugland Room, State Capitol, Bismarck

December 7, 2018 / 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ramkota Hotel, Bismarck

For information, please contact Cheryl Fitzgerald at the Water Commission (701) 328-4940 or by e-mail.

Current Job Opening

The Current - April

The Current

The Current is a quarterly Water Commission and Office of the State Engineer newsletter that provides the latest agency-specific information concerning water development, regulatory and appropriation efforts, water education, policy changes, Commission meeting highlights, and much more.

We hope you find the content useful and helpful.