Governor Matt Mead is committing $400,000 dollars for water delivery to households with cisterns in the Pavillion area. Residents have long complained of unusable well water, which some blame on nearby natural gas development. The money is part of a grant from Encana Oil and Gas, which operates in the Pavillion gas field.
19 cisterns are currently being installed, with another 13 households signed up.
The Governor’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, says residents will meet later this week to discuss how to use the money.
“If the residents elected to have that water delivered to them for roughly 4,000 gallons a month, that would carry them roughly 8 years,” Rieman says. “But if they elected to deliver that water themselves that water can stretch out into 20-25 years. Again, it’s really dependent on the conversation we’re going to have in the days ahead with the residents.”
Rieman says it’s still unclear if there are sufficient funds to install cisterns for everyone interested, but the legislature’s Select Water Committee has asked the for $150,000 dollars just to be on the safe side.
All interested households must sign up for a cistern by February 23rd.