BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Attorneys for North Dakota and the federal government are asking an appeals court to reject the state of Missouri’s challenge to a massive upstream Missouri River water project.
The $244 million Northwest Area Water Supply project aims to bring river water to 82,000 people in northwestern North Dakota. Missouri worries the project will diminish the river water it needs for drinking, farming and shipping.
Missouri is appealing a federal judge’s decision last year that it doesn’t have standing to sue. But the underlying dispute centers on how much water NAWS will actually use.
Missouri maintains it will deplete the river by 3.5 billion gallons each year. An attorney for North Dakota says that’s misleading because the river system has the capacity for more than 23 trillion gallons of water.