- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Authorization for the Red River diversion will be included in a water projects bill negotiated between the U.S. House and Senate.

Authorization is an expected but important step for the project. Local supporters have sought the diversion to relieve a perennial flood threat in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The cities have suffered or been threatened by major flooding in four of the last five years.

Full details of the larger water bill haven’t been released yet nor have House and Senate votes been scheduled. But lawmakers said Tuesday the bill will authorize about $800 million for the diversion. Congress would still have to appropriate funds.

Sens. John Hoeven, a Republican, and Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, say the authorization is an important step and will help the project move forward.

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