Municipal, Rural & Industrial Water Supply Program

Another source of funding for water supply projects in North Dakota is through the federal Municipal, Rural and Industrial (MR&I) Water Supply Program. Funding for this program was authorized by Congress through the 1986 Garrison Diversion Unit Reformulation Act, and it is jointly administered by the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, and the DWR.

The 1986 Garrison Reformulation Act authorized a federal MR&I grant program of $200 million. All of that funding has been expended. Additional federal funding authorization for the MR&I program resulted from the passage of the Dakota Water Resources Act of 2000. An additional $600 million, indexed for inflation, was authorized; which includes a $200 million grant for state MR&I projects, a $200 million grant for North Dakota Tribal MR&I, and a $200 million loan for a Red River Valley Water Supply Project. The 2000 Act provides resources for general MR&I projects, the Northwest Area Water Supply Project, the Southwest Pipeline Project, and a project to address water supply issues in the Red River Valley. Annual MR&I funding is dependent upon U.S. Congressional appropriation.

North Dakota Regional Water Systems

North Dakota Rural Water Systems

Eligible MR&I Projects

Water supply projects and associated costs are eligible for financial assistance from program funds. Many aspects of the design and construction of water supply projects can be funded, including:

  1. New ground water wells including mechanical and electrical components.
  2. Pipelines from water sources to public water systems and principal supply works for systems.
  3. Booster pumping plants for supply lines.
  4. Intake works and pumping plants for new surface water sources.
  5. New or enlarged storage facilities.
  6. New rural water systems or enlargements or expansions of existing rural water systems.
  7. New regional water systems or enlargements or extensions of existing regional water systems.
  8. New water treatment plants.
  9. Modifications to and upgrades of existing water treatment plants.

Program funds may be used for engineering and legal costs, costs incurred in conducting environmental reviews or cultural resources investigations, right-of-way costs, excluding the purchase of easements, and costs associated with the planning, design, and construction of eligible projects listed. Program funds are not available for costs associated with operation, maintenance, and replacement of water supply or treatment systems or with the preparation of preliminary engineering reports.

How to Apply for MR&I Funding

An applicant must submit an application for program funds to the DWR. A copy must also be sent to the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District.

North Dakota Department of Water Resources
1200 Memorial Highway
Bismarck, ND 58504-5262

Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Headquarters
P.O. Box 140
Carrington, ND 58421

The application must include the following:

  1. Information explaining the need for the proposal, including its objectives and benefits.
  2. The area to be served by the project.
  3. A preliminary engineering report.
  4. The approximate cost of the project.
  5. The amount of funding sought from program funds and the amount the applicant intends to contribute to carry out the project.
  6. The results of the efforts made to secure funds from sources other than the MR&I program.
  7. The current rate schedule for the water supply and treatment systems.
  8. Other information the applicant believes pertinent or that the Chief Engineer requests.

MR&I Funding Application (SFN 60796)

Water System Reserve Funding Questionnaire (SFN 60910)


For more information on the Municipal, Rural & Industrial Water Supply Program, please contact Julie Prescott, P.E., MR&I Program Manager at (701) 328-4966 or e-mail.