Wyoming and other Western states need to better track the amount of groundwater that’s depleted by hydraulic fracturing, according to a new report by a regional land-use organization.
If the states don’t do so, there may not be water left for municipal and agricultural uses, according to the report by the Billings, Mont.-based Western Organization of Resource Councils, which represents smaller, grassroots land-use groups.
“Little notice is given to what in the long term may become a more serious threat,” Bob LeResche, a Clearmont rancher and board member of the Billings organization and the Sheridan-based Powder River Basin Resource Council, said during a Thursday teleconference to promote the report.
“This water, once it’s used, is gone for good,” said Pat Wilson, a land and mineral owner from Bainville, Mont., and member of the Northern Plains Resource Council. “Unlike any other human use that I can think of, it’s extracted from the hydrological cycle, never to return.”