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Published March 25, 2010, 07:11 AM

Letter to the editor: N.D. Water Commission must look closely at dairy plans

I read the “Mega milk” article on the front page of The Jamestown Sun March 18, which was written by Keith Norman. Water is a precious and valuable resource. It is needed to sustain all life. For many residents who depend on wells in the rural areas and towns of North Dakota, it is an expensive task to obtain and maintain good-quality drinking water.

By: Tracy Muske, The Jamestown Sun

I read the “Mega milk” article on the front page of The Jamestown Sun March 18, which was written by Keith Norman.

Water is a precious and valuable resource. It is needed to sustain all life. For many residents who depend on wells in the rural areas and towns of North Dakota, it is an expensive task to obtain and maintain good-quality drinking water.

Ralph Friebel of Jamestown and Frontier Dairy, LLC want a water permit from the state of North Dakota to appropriate 800 gallons of water per minute for their proposed 24-hour confinement dairy operation. That is more than 1 million gallons a day.

The aquifer below us is big in area but shallow. Giving a water permit to Frontier Dairy could create a situation where current users would have to move their wells deeper into the ground to access the water. It could limit access to future permits in the area for uses such as irrigation, for example.

Our fathers, ranchers and towns need water from the aquifer to survive. It has to be treated with respect and used within reason so it can replenish itself. Pumping 1 million gallons a day for this dairy could put current wells and water use at risk. As a citizen of this great state, I would urge the Water Commission to conduct testing and to give thorough study to this application.

Tracy Muske

Jamestown

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