Science and Policy: Interbasin Water Transfer of Aquatic Biota

compiled and edited by

Jay A. Leitch  and Mariah J. Tenamoc, North Dakota State University

Overview of this book

The Garrison Diversion Project was conceived shortly after World War II as a harness on North Dakota’s flow of the powerful Missouri River. Part of the plan produced the Garrison Dam, providing flood control and generating electricity for the entire region. Another part of the plan was to provide irrigation water to western North Dakota farmers. By the 1970s, however, opposition from environmentalists and Canadian authorities stalled the irrigation project. Opponents questioned the need for irrigation, the cost of the diversion and the danger of pollution or of biotic transfer of undesirable species into Canadian waters.

As diversion program supporters staggered under the weight of opposition from several sides, one thing still was missing: careful scientific research on the true environmental impact of such a program. “While it often seems that ‘someone must have done that already,’ more often than not there are gaps in the science and in the baseline data,” notes Jay Leitch, principal investigator for this project. Dr. Leitch spearheaded a multi-disciplinary team of researchers to collect baseline data on the nature and impact of inter-basin water transfer, with an eye particularly to waterborne biota transfer concerns.  

Includes chapters on:

1) History of Garrison Diversion

2) International review of Interbasin water transfers

3) Identification of pathways for aquatic biota transfer

4) Distribution and dispersal of fishes in the Red River Basin

5) Case histories of fish species invasions

6) Water treatment technologies to prevent biota transfer and more

with Forewords written by William L. Guy, former North Dakota Governor and Robert N. Clarkson, former coordinator of the Garrison Focus Office in the Province of Manitoba.

145 pages; Soft cover; price: $19.95 plus $3.00 for postage. 

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