Jerry Fredriksen Sr., Minot
On March 18, 2014, Ward County Commissioners leased 53 acres of land to Rice Lake Recreation Service District to pump and store water uphill above Rice Lake to the north and east.
Rice Lake Recreation Service District has pumped and stored water on this land since June 2011. This stored water had drained back under north and east properties continually 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year since 2011. Every winter since 2011, Rice Lake has risen.
In 2012, Rice Lake Service District paid an engineering firm to do a report for Rice Lake flood control. In this report to pump and store in an adjacent basin the conclusion was: The nearest basin not situated over the aquifer and that would not drain overland into an aquifer lake would be approximately 3.5 miles east or 3 miles west of Rice Lake. This report also states this fact: The Douglas Aquifer has the potential to produce as much as 250 gallons per minute of water in areas of high permeability.
The north end of Rice Lake is known for its artisan effects and one area where they are storing this water is 28 feet deep and could be adding pressures on underground springs and rivers making flooding much worse.
The high cost of pumping and storing Rice Lake water, without knowing if it is helping or actually making flooding much worse, is putting high tax burdens and financial stress on Rice Lake property owners. Maybe we should quit pumping Rice Lake to the north and allow the lake to drain to its original outlet on the southeast corner of Rice Lake.
I feel manmade mistakes have caused problems with the balance of nature between Rice Lake and Douglas Aquifer and we should return Rice Lake to its natural state as it was prior to 2011 and return it back to God and Mother Nature as originally intended.