Report says states need to better monitor water usage by the oil and gas industry

Apr 25, 2013

A report by the Western Organization of Resource Councils says the oil and gas industry is using at least seven billion gallons of water per year in just four states: Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. The report says after industry is done with that water, it turns into a hazardous material, and in some cases cannot be reused for other purposes.

Powder River Basin Resource Council member Robert LeResche says he’s also worried about states’ lack of regulations regarding the quantity of water used.

“Once these billions of gallons of water have been used for fracking they are removed from the hydrologic cycle, never to be available again for another use,” says LeResche. “Where will all this water come from? And what will we do when it’s gone?”  

LeResche said the group wants an inventory of water resources in WORC-represented states, prioritization of water resources that takes into account other industries and uses, and a reduction in water use by the oil and gas industry.