Many rural families in Divide County are now served by the Western Area Water Supply Project (WAWSP), which will have the capacity to serve as many as 125,000 people by 2038.
WAWSP celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with approximately 1,200 miles of pipeline installed.
The project is managed by the Western Area Water Supply Authority (WAWSA), which has another 650 miles of pipeline planned.
“Every day we are getting more users connected and getting more water infrastructure built,” says Jaret Wirtz, WAWSA’s executive director.
WAWSP, which is a public-private partnership, delivers water to Columbus, Crosby, Fortuna, Noonan, Ray, Ross, Stanley, Tioga, Watford City, Wildrose and Williston.
The partnership also serves rural residents throughout Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams Counties.
The authority takes water from the Missouri River and treats it at the Williston Regional Water Treatment Plant. The Williston plant serves as the primary supplier; the R & T Water Treatment Plant near Ray offers a supplemental supply source.
WAWSA has increased the Williston plant’s capacity to 21 million gallons per day and has built and/or upgraded two water towers, 10 reservoirs and 10 pump stations. The authority plans to construct and upgrade an additional tower, as well as four more pump stations and one more reservoir.I remember folks discussing this project/authority when it was first proposed many years ago.