North Dakota Century Code Title 61. Waters § 61-16.1-09. Powers of water resource board
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Each water resource board shall have the power and authority to:
1. Sue and be sued in the name of the district.
2. Exercise the power of eminent domain as follows:
a. Except as permitted under subdivision b, the board shall comply with title 32 for the purpose of acquiring and securing by eminent domain any rights, titles, interests, estates, or easements necessary or proper to carry out the duties imposed by this chapter, and particularly to acquire the necessary rights in land for the construction of dams, flood control projects, and other water conservation, distribution, and supply works of any nature and to permit the flooding of lands, and to secure the right of access to such dams and other devices and the right of public access to any waters impounded thereby.
b. (1) If the interest sought to be acquired is an easement for a right of way for any project authorized in this chapter for which federal or state funds have been made available, the district may acquire the right of way by quick take eminent domain as authorized by section 16 of article I of the Constitution of North Dakota, after the district attempts to purchase the easement for the right of way by:
(a) Conducting informal negotiations for not less than sixty days.
(b) If informal negotiations fail, the district shall engage in formal negotiations by:
 Sending the landowner an appraisal and written offer for just compensation, which includes a specific description of the exact location of the right of way, by certified mail or commercial delivery requiring a signed receipt, and receiving the signed receipt or documentation of constructive notice.
 Sending the landowner a written request for a meeting by certified mail or commercial delivery requiring a signed receipt if there is no agreement regarding compensation or no response to the written offer within fifteen days of receipt, and receiving the signed receipt or documentation of constructive notice.
 Sending the landowner a written notice, by certified mail or commercial delivery requiring a signed receipt, of intent to take possession of the right of way if there is no agreement regarding compensation or no response to the written request for a meeting within thirty days of receipt, and receiving the signed receipt or documentation of constructive notice.
(2) Any written communication to the landowner must include contact information for responding to the board and a description of the required negotiation timeline.
(3) A district may not include or utilize any reference to quick take eminent domain during negotiations to acquire the necessary easement for a right of way. If formal negotiation efforts fail, the district shall request approval from the board of county commissioners of the county in which the right of way is located to take possession of the right of way by quick take eminent domain. After receiving the request, the county commissioners shall hold a public meeting and give the landowner thirty days' notice of the meeting to allow the landowner to attend. After receiving verification from the district that there has been no reference or threat of quick take eminent domain by the district during negotiations, the commissioners shall vote on whether to approve the taking of the easement for a right of way using quick take eminent domain. If the county commissioners approve the use of quick take eminent domain by a majority vote, the district may take immediate possession of the right of way, but not a blanket easement, if the district files an affidavit by the chairman of the water resource board which states the district has fulfilled the required negotiation steps and deposits the amount of the written offer with the clerk of the district court of the county in which the right of way is located.
(4) Within thirty days after notice has been given in writing to the landowner by the clerk of the district court that a deposit has been made for the taking of a right of way as authorized in this subsection, the owner of the property taken may appeal to the district court by serving a notice of appeal upon the acquiring agency, and the matter must be tried at the next regular or special term of court with a jury unless a jury be waived, in the manner prescribed for trials under chapter 32-15.
(5) If ownership of a right of way has not terminated, ownership of a right of way acquired under this subdivision terminates automatically when the district no longer needs the right of way for the purpose for which it was acquired.
3. Accept funds and property or other assistance, financial or otherwise, from federal, state, and other public or private sources for the purposes of aiding the construction or maintenance of water conservation, distribution, and flood control projects; and cooperate and contract with the state or federal government, or any department or agency thereof, or any municipality within the district, in furnishing assurances and meeting local cooperation requirements of any project involving control, conservation, distribution, and use of water.
4. Procure the services of engineers and other technical experts, and employ an attorney or attorneys to assist, advise, and act for it in its proceedings.
5. Plan, locate, relocate, construct, reconstruct, modify, maintain, repair, and control all dams and water conservation and management devices of every nature and water channels, and to control and regulate the same and all reservoirs, artificial lakes, and other water storage devices within the district.
6. Maintain and control the water levels and the flow of water in the bodies of water and streams involved in water conservation and flood control projects within the district and regulate streams, channels, or watercourses and the flow of water therein by changing, widening, deepening, or straightening the same, or otherwise improving the use and capacity thereof.
7. Regulate and control water for the prevention of floods and flood damages by deepening, widening, straightening, or diking the channels or floodplains of any stream or watercourse within the district, and construct reservoirs or other structures to impound and regulate such waters.
8. Make rules and regulations concerning the management, control, regulation, and conservation of waters and prevent the pollution, contamination, or other misuse of the water resources, streams, or bodies of water included within the district.
9. Do all things reasonably necessary and proper to preserve the benefits to be derived from the conservation, control, and regulation of the water resources of this state.
10. Construct, operate, and maintain recreational facilities, including beaches, swimming areas, boat docking and landing facilities, toilets, wells, picnic tables, trash receptacles, and parking areas, and to establish and enforce rules and regulations for the use thereof.
11. Have, in addition to any powers provided in this chapter, the authority to construct an assessment drain in accordance with the procedures and provisions of chapter 61-21.
12. Acquire by lease, purchase, gift, condemnation, or other lawful means and to hold in its corporate name for its use and control both real and personal property and easements and rights of way within or without the limits of the district for all purposes authorized by law or necessary to the exercise of any other stated power.
13. Convey, sell, dispose of, or lease personal and real property of the district as provided by this chapter.
14. Authorize and issue warrants to finance construction of water conservation and flood control projects, assess benefited property for part or all of the cost of such projects, and require appropriations and tax levies to maintain sinking funds for construction warrants on a cash basis at all times.
15. Borrow money within the limitations imposed by this chapter for projects herein authorized and pledge security for the repayment of such loans.
16. Order or initiate appropriate legal action to compel the entity responsible for the maintenance and repair of any bridge or culvert to remove from under, within, and around such bridge or culvert all dirt, rocks, weeds, brush, shrubbery, other debris, and any artificial block which hinders or decreases the flow of water through such bridge or culvert.
17. Order or initiate appropriate legal action to compel the cessation of the destruction of native woodland bordering within two hundred feet [60.96 meters] of that portion of a riverbank subject to overflow flooding that will cause extensive property damage, or in the alternative, order, that, if such destruction is permitted, the party or parties responsible for the destruction must, when the board has determined that such destruction will cause excessive property damage from overflow flooding due to the erosion or blocking of the river channel, plant a shelterbelt which meets the specifications of the board. In the event the native woodland within such area has already been destroyed, the board may, in its discretion, order the planting of a shelterbelt which, in the judgment of the board, will curtail the erosion or blocking of such river channel where overflow flooding has caused extensive property damage. For purposes of this subsection, the words “riverbank” and “river channel” relate to rivers as defined in the United States geological survey base map of North Dakota, edition of 1963. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to limit, impair, or abrogate the rights, powers, duties, or functions of any federal, state, or local entity to construct and maintain any flood control, irrigation, recreational, or municipal or industrial water supply project.
18. Petition any zoning authority established pursuant to chapter 11-33, 11-35, or 40-47 or section 58-03-13 to assume jurisdiction over a floodplain for zoning purposes when such zoning is required to regulate and enforce the placement, erection, construction, reconstruction, repair, and use of buildings and structures to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public within a floodplain area. In the event such zoning authority fails to act or does not exist, the board may request the state water commission to assist it in a study to determine and delineate the floodplain area. Upon completion of such study, the board shall make suitable recommendations for the establishment of a floodplain zone to all zoning authorities and the governing bodies of all political subdivisions having jurisdiction within the floodplain area.
19. Plan, locate, relocate, construct, reconstruct, modify, extend, improve, operate, maintain, and repair sanitary and storm sewer systems, or combinations thereof, including sewage and water treatment plants, and regulate the quantity of sewage effluent discharged from municipal lagoons; and contract with the United States government, or any department or agency thereof, or any private or public corporation or limited liability company, the government of this state, or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof, or any municipality or person with respect to any such systems.
20. Develop water supply systems, store and transport water, and provide, contract for, and furnish water service for domestic, municipal, and rural water purposes, irrigation, milling, manufacturing, mining, metallurgical, and any and all other beneficial uses, and fix the terms and rates therefor. Each district may acquire, construct, operate, and maintain dams, reservoirs, ground water storage areas, canals, conduits, pipelines, tunnels, and any and all works, facilities, improvements, and property necessary therefor.
21. Coordinate proposals for installation, modification, or construction of culverts and bridges in an effort to achieve appropriate sizing and maximum consistency of road openings. The department of transportation, railroads, counties, and townships shall cooperate with the districts in this effort. Each district shall also consider the possibility of incorporating appropriate water control structures, where appropriate, as a part of such road openings.
22. Plug abandoned water wells and participate in cost-sharing arrangements with water well owners to plug water wells to protect aquifers from pollution or depletion, maintain pressure, and prevent damage to surrounding property.
23. Have, in addition to any powers provided in this chapter, the authority to conduct weather modification operations in accordance with the procedures and provisions of chapter 61-04.1.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - North Dakota Century Code Title 61. Waters § 61-16.1-09. Powers of water resource board - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nd/title-61-waters/nd-cent-code-sect-61-16-1-09.html
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