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The Diversion Authority’s Agricultural Policy Subcommittee met on December 12 to review preliminary modeling results from the work being done by NDSU’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. The Diversion Authority contracted with the Department to help evaluate the impacts on farm land due to operation of the Diversion Project.

The preliminary information reviewed the impacts from several flood events (25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year events) that would trigger the Project’s staging area to be in use. The presentation showed that over the last 73 years, there were nine flood events, each of which occurred between mid-March and mid-April, which would have been large enough to require the Project to operate.

While much more work needs to be done in order to quantify the exact impact on crop plantings and inundation durations by tract, it is expected that the information will help develop policy regarding an overall mitigation plan, including the purchasing of flowage easements and a potential supplemental income policy for producers in the staging area. Over the next few months, USACE and local hydraulic experts will work closely with NDSU to review and finalize the findings.

The Agricultural Policy Subcommittee meets regularly and its membership includes representatives from the Diversion Authority as well as area farmers. The Committee provided valuable input to research team members, who will incorporate the feedback and work towards finalizing their research over the coming months.