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Federal Judge Rules Against State of Missouri in Missouri River Flow Case

A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit by the state of Missouri seeking to stop a project that would supply Missouri River water to central North Dakota.

The ruling will enable the federal Bureau of Reclamation to move ahead with a water service contract for the Central North Dakota Water Supply Project. The project will receive water from the McClusky Canal.

The Missouri suit alleged violations of federal policy, including failure by project developers to properly study the project’s environmental impacts and its alternatives. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled against Missouri on all counts Wednesday.

The Red River Valley Water Supply Program will move Missouri River water by underground pipeline to supply systems in the east and central parts of the state. The Central North Dakota Water Supply Project will use the same pipeline, taking nearly 13 million gallons a day.

The judge ruled the state of North Dakota has the right to flows of the Missouri River in the state of North Dakota.

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