Red River Falling
While it’s not a concern…yet…Grand Forks officials are starting to keep an eye on river flows along the Red Lake and Red Rivers. Drought conditions have had a significant impact on river flows this summer. Flows on the Red Lake through Crookston (MN) are below 100 c-f-s and the Red River through greater grand Forks is below the 900 c-f-s mark. Grand Forks Public Works Director Todd Feland says the city typically pulls about 80-percent of its drinking water supply from the Red Lake River because it’s easier to treat. Feland says if they start pulling more water from the Red River the treatment costs will go up. He says one of the reasons for the increased cost is the amount of Devils Lake water in the system and increased sulfate levels. Greg Gust of the National Weather Service says at least half or more of the flow in the Red River going past Grand Forks / East Grand Forks is the result of water releases from Devils Lake.
Devils Lake is down about two-and-a-half feet from the record set in June of last year. Grand Forks and East Grand Forks water officials met this week to compare notes as both cities intensify monitoring efforts.