Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's mineral wealth is helping fuel the development of another key resource water. When the Wyoming Water Development Commission was created in the 70s, lawmakers made sure it would receive a portion of the state's taxes on the mineral industry. Former State Engineer Jeff Fassett, who now works in water consulting, says between 25 and 30 million dollars a year now go to water development. And Fassett says the drought is another catalyst for water development projects.
With massive population growth across the west, demand for water will continue to rise. Fassett says federal regulations make building new dams time-consuming, expensive projects, but he says it can be done.