Fargo Moorhead Dam
Red River Diversion Information Guide
36 – mile channel
54,000 acre dam and reservoir
to protect Fargo and Moorhead from a 500-year flood.
This plan will lead to the destruction of farms, communities and businesses south of the diversion channel, Clay and Cass counties and northern Richland and Wilkin counties.
The fully-funded cost of the project, with contingencies, is currently estimated to be $2 billion dollars.
$1.1 billion of this amount will need to be raised by Fargo and Moorhead.
Sales taxes are projected to raise only $420 million over 20 years and protection provided by the diversion is 10 years away at minimum, or may never happen.
Federal deficits are at record levels and Minnesota has its own deficit problem. All of this casts serious doubt on how much funding is truly available.
What Is the Impact?
• 1,100 structures are affected, including 400 residences affected. A majority of these
homes will be eliminated to hold water in the upstream Dam, located just south of the
Fargo school district boundary.
• 54,000 Acres dammed up and under water including mature communities. The dam
shifts ponded water from the current flood plain south to the new reservoir and dam
area. The result is an expansion of Fargo’s available growth area at the expense
of those in the newly formed (and currently dry) reservoir area.
• Financial institutions are reluctant to extend financing for property purchases and
improvements in and around the proposed reservoir. Property owners in this area
are uncompensated captives of an artificially destroyed real estate market.
• Economic impact to schools. 20% enrollment and 25% taxable revenue reduction in
Kindred. 19% enrollment and 23% taxable revenue in Richland.
• Under U.S. Army Corps guidelines, purchases of farm structures are not based on
replacement value, but on “market” value. The difference is quite substantial.
• The Federal crop insurance program provides no coverage for losses caused by
manmade structures that are designed to hold water.”
• Extreme project design complexity. Five rivers intersect with the diversion,
including the Wild Rice, Sheyenne, Maple, Rush and Lower Rush Rivers.
• This complicates fish passage, migration and mortality while increasing overall
• 19 Highway and 4 Railroad bridges require re-building to heights above the
diversion, including I-29 and Highway 75 in MN.
• When asked at public meetings, the Army Corps of Engineers cannot identify
another project in the U.S. with this level of complexity.
The chart below shows the relationship between
contributions and costs of the diversion over a
20 year period – which is the length of time for the sales tax.
Are protected residents ready to pay for this revenue shortfall?
✓ Fargo/Moorhead responsibility: Local Share + Unplanned Costs = $1.52 Billion
✓ Revenue Sources: Fargo Tax + Cass County Tax + MN Share + ND Share = $830 Million
✓ Shortfall: Local Share – Revenue Sources = $690 Million**
** This value does not include costs for current levee work, public relations firm and lobbyist firm in Washington DC
Note: Interest = Bonds estimated at 4%
The only way to pay for this project is to impose massive taxes
on the properties located inside the diversion.
Fargo-Moorhead can be protected without
destroying Red River Basin communities.
A Dam & Reservoir is not needed!
The Red River Basin Commission recent study shows: HOW
• Managing floodwater across the Red River Basin can eliminate upstream and
downstream impacts of a diversion, and reduce flooding throughout the entire
Red River Valley, preserving all our communities and economic growth for everyone.
WHY: Do our local leaders insist on destroying communities and businesses
with a dam when there are other viable options?
• WE DON’T KNOW! The sponsors appear to be more interested in a quick fix
for THEIR problem, instead of a permanent Red River Basin wide solution.
WHAT: You Can Do!
• Request your local leaders and Congressional Representatives to work together
TO SAVE EVERYONE in the Red River Valley from floodwaters. It’s an opportunity
to do what’s right for the states of North Dakota and Minnesota, not what’s
best for ONLY Fargo!
All Data is sourced from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FEIS Study at their website:
FINDING LONG TERM FLOOD SOLUTIONS TOGETHER Report to State and Federal Officials on a Comprehensive Plan of Flood Strategies for the Basin of the Red River of the North 2009-2011 Draft 8-29-2011. Table D-16
Paid for by Concerned Citizens, Communities and Businesses