High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Allow New Pumping Rules


High Plains-Underground-Water Conservation District has undergone through drastic changes in the past. From frequent change of board of directors to the hiring of a new general manager, more changes are expected after a board meeting which is expected to take place Tuesday as water users’ start measuring how much water they can pump.

New conservation measures have received the approval of the board and the amended10 years management plan are aimed at making sure that 50 percent of Ogallala Aquifer is conserved since most of it was still in the formation stage.

There are many techniques which producers can adopt to measure the amount of water which goes through the system. The rules require that they report their annual use. They are not required to pump more than 18 inches of underground water per acre which they own. However, they can bank the water which they don’t use for use at later times.

The district leadership is trying to find a balance between private water rights with the aim of trying to save some water for future use. But the challenge gets even worse when Ogallala doesn’t get recharged. For the last 18 months, there have been numerous meetings held leading to the vote to be held on Tuesday.


“We truly appreciated the time spend by people who were willing to attend our meetings or those who offered us their opinions through phone calls or emails. There is no doubt about the finer details going forward,” Lynn Tate, the president of the board said in a statement.

In other hands, ail oil company is working on strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of operating in the Bakken Shale by cutting down its use of water when doing hydraulic fracturing as well as waste water recycling methods.

According to Lee Tillman, the CEO of Marathon, these programs were discussed at a petroleum conference that was held in May.

“In the Bakken, the water that is produced is mainly saline which makes recycling very hard. As a result of this, a lot of fresh water is needed for dilution. But we are looking at the use of gels which would allow us recycle the water that have been produced,” he said.

The company is also looking at other water treatment methods that can produce clean and reusable brine which can be used for drilling purposes as well as very fresh water which can be used for hydraulic drilling.The company has reduced the amount of water which it uses for drilling by about 45% by using a polymer which is in the form of a gel and which has the ability to handle more sand.

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