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Heitkamp Announces Nearly $300,000 to Support Tongue River Construction Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that Pembina Water Resource District will receive $294,000 to complete ongoing rehabilitation work at the Renwick Dam on the Tongue River, which provides flood protection to Cavalier and other downstream communities.

The dam, originally built in the 1950s, was recently designated as a “high hazard dam” and the improvements will make sure it can continue to provide flood protection for the downstream communities.

“The Renwick Dam plays an important role in communities in North Dakota, protecting land and property, while helping spur economic development throughout the Northeast part of our state,” said Heitkamp. “It is critical for us to make infrastructure investments like this one to help our communities thrive. Especially because of the increased population in our state and aging infrastructure, the time to invest in infrastructure projects is now.”

The 2014 Farm Bill, which Heitkamp played a key role in crafting as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, increased the annual investments in watershed rehabilitation nearly 21 fold. The funding for the Pembina Water Resource District was part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) release of $262 million for dam rehabilitation in 26 states.

From the 1940s through the 1970s, local communities using the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance constructed more than 11,800 dams in 47 states.  These watershed management projects provide an estimated $2.2 billion in annual benefits in reduced flooding and erosion damages, and improved recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat for an estimated 47 million Americans.