Little Missouri River Commission has long discussion on water permits

The Little Missouri River Commission postponed taking action
on a policy for issuing temporary water permits along the Little Missouri River Basin.

For nearly two hours the director of the state water appropriations division answered questions
and informed attendees that the proposed policy can cancel permits at anytime if it impacts the natural flow of the river.

The commission and others were advised that the alternative is to ask oil companies to haul water, which could pose a safety risk.

"There is going to be a lot of negative consequences that can result from water hauling from long distances . . . public safety concerns, infrastructure damage," said Jon Patch, Director of  Water Appropriations for North State Water Commission.

Scott Kleemann, who is a rancher in Killdeer, said " I don't want my little girl going to dance class and meeting a water truck every minute and a half."

However, some feel more work should be done before adopting a permanent policy, to ensure the Little Missouri River can maintain its " free- flowing natural condition".

"I've heard people say we don't want to suck the river dry . . .  The industrial permits are using less than 1-percent of the annual flow in a year. . . .that is a tiny number when you know how much water is going down the river," said Kleemann.

The State Water Commission will continue to operate under the interim policy, which doesn't allow temporary permit users to pump water from the river if the levels are too low.






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