Engineers Gather for Three Day Conference on Red River Flooding

Sharing ideas from across even international boarders lessons from communities along the Red River are shared

Engineers working all throughout the Red River Basin are coming together this week in Fargo for the 34th Annual Red River Basin Land and Water International Summit Conference.

They’re discussing a wide range of issues regarding the river including the Fargo–Moorhead Diversion project.

The conference has a little bit of fun mixed in with all the serious conversation.

“I always look forward to seeing and running into kind of the same people every year,” said Army Corps. of Engineers Project Manager for the F-M Diversion Project, Terry Williams.

The real benefit of the gathering however,  is the ability to spread information around communities about flooding in the Red River basin.

The FM project is by no means the only project on the river.

“We have projects up and down this river basin from the border close to Pembina all the way down through Fargo going down to Whapeton and Breckenridge, which have drainages that flow into the Red River,” said Commander of the St. Paul District for the Army Corps. of Engineers, Col. Sam Calkins.

“People get together to share ideas and what they’ve learned over the past year,” said Williams.

“They really study the water shed for the Red River basin…not just in the United States but in Canada and try to find the best techniques, the best methods to learn from communities of interest how to manage the resources and the problems that come along with the Red River,” said Col. Calkins.

Those at the conference even got a bit of a history lesson on the 1997 flood that hit the area.

“We reflected on what happened and the lessons learned and that we still have a little work to do,” said Williams.

Primarily though, the conversations are focused on the future and Col. Sam Calkins said the future of the FM project looks hopeful.

Col. Calkins said he expects the diversion project to break ground this spring, right on schedule.

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