The Powder River Basin Resource Council released a report this week recommending that Wyoming legislators and industry leaders implement a series of specific actions to protect what they say are scarce and dwindling groundwater resources.
In a media release, the resource council says these resources became scarce as a result of the boom in what they call unconventional oil and gas development.
The report states that Wyoming's groundwater aquifers are currently being drained faster than they are being refilled - and that more demands are being placed on aquifers for billions of gallons of water. This water, reads the report, is used to drill and hydraulically fracture thousands of new horizontal oil and gas wells.
Recommending actions to better manage this groundwater, the report says, is just part of the problem. The report says contamination of the state's groundwater can occur when flowback water during the fracking process and water produced from oil and gas wells enters the aquifers.
One of the authors of the report, and Vice-Chair of the resource council, Bob LeResche, says Wyoming must be proactive and update water management systems to the current situation. He says the energy industry can take advantage of profitable new production techniques while minimizing careful management of groundwater resources.
To read the entire report, see the attachment below.