Northwest Area Water Supply

NDCC, Section 61-24.6 declares necessary the pursuit of a project ...that would supply and distribute water to the people of northwestern North Dakota through a pipeline transmission and delivery system... NDCC 61-24.6 authorizes the Water Commission to construct, operate, and manage a project to deliver water throughout northwestern North Dakota.

The State Water Commission began construction on the Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS) project in April 2002. The first four contracts involving 45 miles of pipeline from the Missouri River to Minot were completed in the spring of 2009. The project is currently serving Berthold, Kenmare, Burlington, West River Water District, Upper Souris Water District, Mohall, Sherwood, All Seasons Water District, and Minot (also serves North Prairie Water District and Minot Air Force Base). NAWS is getting interim water supply through a 10-year contract with Minot, which expires in 2018.

In 2002, lawsuits were initiated, but various elements of project construction had been allowed to proceed by court order including most of the distribution system and nearly the entirety of the supply pipeline.

In August 2017, the District of Columbia District Court ruled on the case in favor of the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the State of North Dakota. This action allows the state to move forward with construction on NAWS - pending appeal by Manitoba and Missouri.

NAWS Fact Sheet


For more information on Northwest Area Water Supply, please contact Tim Freije, P.E., NAWS/SWPP Section Chief (701) 328-1050 or e-mail.