The Dakota Water Resources Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2000 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a comprehensive study of future water-quantity and -quality needs of the Red River of the North (Red River) Basin in North Dakota and of possible options to meet those water needs. To obtain the river gain and loss information needed to properly account for available streamflow within the basin, available river gain and loss studies for the Sheyenne, Turtle, Forest, and Park Rivers in North Dakota and the Wild Rice, Sand Hill, Clearwater, South Branch Buffalo, and Otter Tail Rivers in Minnesota were reviewed. Ground-water discharges for the Sheyenne River in a reach between Lisbon and Kindred, N. Dak., were about 28.8 cubic feet per second in 1963 and about 45.0 cubic feet per second in 1986. Estimated monthly net evaporation losses for additional flows to the Sheyenne River from the Missouri River ranged from 1.4 cubic feet per second in 1963 to 51.0 cubic feet per second in 1976. Maximum water losses for a reach between Harvey and West Fargo, N. Dak., for 1956-96 ranged from about 161 cubic feet per second for 1976 to about 248 cubic feet per second for 1977. Streamflow gains of 1 to 1.5 cubic feet per second per mile were estimated for the Wild Rice, Sand Hill, and Clearwater Rivers in Minnesota. The average ground-water discharge for a 5.2-mile reach of the Otter Tail River in Minnesota was about 14.1 cubic feet per second in August 1994. The same reach lost about 14.1 cubic feet per second between February 1994 and June 1994 and about 21.2 cubic feet per second between August 1994 and August 1995.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
River Gain and Loss Studies for the Red River of the North Basin, North Dakota and Minnesota