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Perfect Timing: The Story of the Western Area Water Supply Project

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Published on Mar 31, 2014

This short documentary details The Western Area Water Supply Project (WAWSP), which is a domestic water project in northwestern North Dakota. WAWSP utilizes Missouri River water to meet the municipal, rural, and industrial water needs for all or parts of McKenzie, Williams, Divide, Burke, and Mountrail Counties. The primary focus of the project is to supply drinking water for an estimated 99,000 people expected in 2025, up from 30,700 in 2010.

Regional aquifers in the western area of the state cannot handle the amounts of water needed to supply the oil industry and the growth in the region. In addition, some systems in region (McKenzie and BDW Rural Water Systems) are faced with poor water quality and insufficient quantity.

One of the major benefits of the project is that the system will utilize its latent capacity during off peak hours to sell water to the oil industry, which in turn will pay for a large portion of the project's cost. The project maximizes infrastructure already in place and combines the efforts of many entities for the good of region.

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