Our Mission:
To provide a reliable, high quality
and affordable water supply to
benefit the people of North Dakota.

Water for North Dakota

Water plays a vital role in the economic viability of North Dakota. The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) is committed to securing a stronger future by providing a reliable, high quality and affordable water supply to benefit the people of North Dakota. Our focus goes beyond a dependable drinking water supply.  We also aim to provide opportunities for industry, the environment, agriculture, recreation, and development of our natural resources. 

Through several programs operated by Garrison Diversion, North Dakotan’s are seeing benefits. 

Reliable and high quality water can mean the difference between success and failure for small towns and family farms. Garrison Diversion works to ensure North Dakotans have access to reliable and high quality water through the MR&I Program. This program has $400 million authorized in federal funding to help water systems deliver quality water to homes, businesses and farms across North Dakota.

Garrison Diversion’s roots are in agriculture, and though we are now a multi-purpose project, we have not forgotten those roots. Garrison Diversion continues to invest in agricultural initiatives throughout North Dakota. Through valuable partnerships we are able to develop, expand and enhance irrigation efforts.

North Dakota’s natural resources are valuable and we work to maintain, enhance and protect them.  From wildlife habitat mitigation to the North Country Trail, Garrison Diversion plays a part in keeping North Dakota a beautiful and environmentally friendly place to live.

Recreation opportunities enhance quality of life. Garrison Diversion has been careful to set aside public land accessible to North Dakotans. We dedicate time and resources for developing areas for recreational use.

Garrison Diversion represents the state in the state and local Red River Valley Water Supply Project, a project designed to bring a much needed supplemental water supply to central and eastern North Dakota.

Operations and maintenance (O&M) is a fundamental part of Garrison Diversion. Garrison Diversion performs O&M on the Garrison Diversion Unit facilities. We employ a skilled workforce and maintain a large fleet of equipment to aid in the completion of O&M projects.

News Updates

Best Wishes, Ernie!

May 15, 2018

ND Water - May 2018

Ernie Mathias retired in April after 21 years of service to the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion). Mathias was an operations and maintenance specialist working at the Oakes Test Area (OTA) in Oakes, N.D. He was responsible for maintenance of the system – keeping the pumping plants up and running, canals full, and gates working.

Mathias has a long history with the OTA, as he began working with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) in 1969. During the 1980s, he was a drainage investigator and construction inspector for Reclamation working at the OTA. After several more years with Reclamation, Mathias’ employment transferred from Reclamation to Garrison Diversion in 1997, where he finished his career in 2018.

“This was a good job for me,” says Mathias. “We all enjoyed working together, and I enjoyed the work I did.”

Now that he’s retired, Ernie Mathias and his wife, Carol, can spend more time with their three children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. They enjoy following the kids’ sporting activities. Mathias enjoys fishing, and they plan to split their time between their lake home and their home in Oakes and anticipate some traveling in the upcoming years.

“Ernie, your service to Garrison Diversion is appreciated, and all of us here at Garrison Diversion wish you a healthy, happy retirement,” says General Manager Duane DeKrey.


Red River Valley Water Supply Project

May 15, 2018

ND Water Magazine - May 2018

A drought is a period of below-average precipitation in a given region that results in extended shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric, surface water, or ground water. A drought can last for months or years and results in economic, environmental, and societal impacts. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, drought is the second leading phenomenon of weather related economic impacts. Beyond direct economic impacts, drought can threaten drinking water supplies and ecosystems and can even contribute to increased food prices.

In 2017, serious drought conditions were prevalent across much of North Dakota. As of March 27, 2018, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 90% of North Dakota is abnormally dry, with nearly 50% of the state sitting in a moderate drought. Studies show a severe drought, similar to that of the 1930s drought, will likely repeat by the year 2050. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when we will face the challenges a drought presents to the region and our state. The Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP) is a plan to protect central and eastern North Dakota from drought’s devastating effects.


Job Announcement - Operation and Maintenance Specialist I

May 10, 2018

Garrison Diversion Conservancy District in Oakes, ND, is hiring for a full-time/seasonal Operation and Maintenance Specialist worker. The position will perform semi-skilled and skilled maintenance duties, operate machinery and requires a valid Class D North Dakota driver’s license, with the ability to obtain a Class B. Competitive pay and a seasonal benefit package. Application deadline is May 31, 2018.


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