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Financing-300The Diversion Authority supports retention projects by others in the region and has committed $25 million to encourage retention initiatives. This funding will be made available over the next 10 years, or until the funds are exhausted. Flood retention projects can contribute to improved regional flood risk reduction, and can effectively complement and improve the performance of the Diversion Project.

The Diversion Authority is committed to designing and constructing the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project as the best solution for providing long term flood risk reduction. The Authority recognizes that the Project, by itself, is just one regional solution, and that other regional flood damage reduction initiatives are required to complement the Project in order to reduce the risks from flooding throughout the Red River Valley and entire region.

Criteria for Investment

The $25 million investment by the Diversion Authority in regional retention projects will be placed in three categories in accordance with the following percentages:

  1. Construction of retention projects: 85 percent
  2. Design of retention projects: 10 percent
  3. Studies leading to retention projects or enhancing regional retention initiatives: 5 percent

The Technical Staff and Administrative-Advisory Staff of the Diversion Authority will make recommendations to the Diversion Authority Board regarding funding of proposed projects, with a goal of investing in retention projects that best complement and provide increased benefits for the Diversion Project and region. The following are examples of criteria, in no particular order, that will be used in determining which projects will receive the investment:

  • Projects that are well positioned to be funded, permitted and accomplished with timely schedules
  • Projects that reduce the flow rate of flood water through the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan area, using the 2009 flood as a base
  • Projects that contribute to upstream storage, reducing the frequency of use, size, or duration of use for the FM Area Diversion Project staging and storage area
  • Flood storage and release timing of the retention project that contributes to the overall performance of the FM Area Diversion Project
  • Geographical proximity to the Fargo-Metro are
  • Other criteria as determined by the Diversion Authority’s Technical Advisory Staff

Evaluation of Regional Retention Project’s Value to the FM Area Diversion Project

The FM Flood Diversion Authority, working through its Technical Advisory Staff, in coordination with the Administrative-Advisory staff, will work with the North Dakota State Water Commission (NDSWC) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) to develop a method of evaluating existing and planned regional retention projects’ potential contribution to the benefits of the FM Area Diversion Project. The Diversion Authority will also work with these State Agencies and their designees to sponsor a study that will determine how the performance of the FM Area Diversion Project may be improved with regional retention. The results of this study, in conjunction with the project selection criteria listed above, will be used to inform the Diversion Authority investment decisions in retention studies, designs and construction.

Program Start-Up and Implementation

In order to begin implementing this $25 million retention project investment program, the Diversion Authority will work with the NDSWC and the MN DNR and their designees to review this strategy and refine the plan for regional investments in flood retention projects. The Diversion Authority will look to the NDSWC and the MN DNR to assume a lead role in encouraging and identifying potential projects to receive these investments.

The Diversion Authority is prepared to provide $500,000 of the $25,000,000 investment to initiate the program.

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