North Dakota State Water Commission

The State Water Commission consists of the Governor as chairman, the Commissioner of Agriculture as an ex-officio member, and eight members appointed by the Governor who provide regional representation.

The State Water Commission has the authority to investigate, plan, construct, and develop water-related projects, and serves as a mechanism to financially support those efforts throughout North Dakota.

Office of the State Engineer

North Dakota’s State Engineer serves as Chief Engineer and Secretary to the State Water Commission. In a separate role, North Dakota’s State Engineer is responsible for several regulatory functions and responsibilities, including allocation of the state’s waters, dam safety, sovereign land management, and drainage.


Present and future generations of North Dakotans will enjoy an adequate supply of good quality water for people, agriculture, industry, and fish and wildlife; Missouri River water will be put to beneficial use through its distribution across the state to meet ever increasing water supply and quality needs; and successful management and development of North Dakota's water resources will ensure health, safety, and prosperity, and balance the needs of generations to come.


To improve the quality of life and strengthen the economy of North Dakota by managing the water resources of the state for the benefit of its people.

Philosophy and Values

In the delivery of services to the citizens of North Dakota, we the employees of the State Water Commission and the Office of the State Engineer value fairness, objectivity, accountability, responsiveness, and credibility. We pledge to use professional and scientific methods to maintain only the highest of standards in our delivery of services to our constituents.


Goal 1

Promote development and investment in water resource projects.

Goal 2

Utilize technology and education to increase our understanding for the improved management of the state’s water resources.

Goal 3

Continue our strong commitment to sustainable water management.