Cheyenne, WY – A state task force is proposing that the
Wyoming State Engineer's Office be given authority to order the
digging of ditches to prevent flooding of pastures with water from
natural gas production.
The state task force has been meeting for the past two years to
come up with suggestions for how to use the billions of barrels of
ground water that are being pumped to the surface in the production
of coal-bed methane.
The task force met for the last time yesterday (Thursday).
The task force also agreed with State Engineer Patrick Tyrrell's
suggestion that amount of water that could be pumped from the
ground should be limited to the natural capacity of stream beds in
the drilling area. If adopted by the Legislature, that would be the
first restriction in the state on the amount of water that can be
pumped during natural gas production.
Members of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and other
conservationists say they're concerned that the proposal to dig
ditches to handle the water flow will take away incentives to come
up with more beneficial uses for the water.