Originally Posted by DownValleyTrash
Even if you are correct on costs, you aren't factoring in the time it takes to get a water right decreed. Garfield County had a 50% increase in drilling permits issued between 2004 and 2005, and has had 20-25% increases in each subsequent year. Its naive to think that decreed water rights are keeping pace with the rate of new gas exploration and development. Plus, if there is little to no enforcement, why would a hauler bother with a water right?
Do you really believe the Water Hauling Companies providing water for the Oil and Gas Industry are stealing water because they did not have time to acquire the proper decree? I do realize that someone can put a pump in the river and take water but I do not think a lot of very large trucks with Company Logo's and Names on them are illegally pumping water out of the River every day. That is just an opinion, I have no facts to prove otherwise. I personnally would never do that and I would like to think others also would not.
I do think the number of wells being permited and the rate of drilling in this State is way to high. The Industry does not have the resources to continue at this pace and they are making mistakes that would not occur if more time were taken to plan and drill each well. Lets all advocate a slow down.
The amount of fresh water required for drilling operations is very small compared to other industries and residential consumers. I am not worried about that issue. I am worried about the amount of produced water from Oil and Coal Bed Methane wells. They produce millions of barrels of water and almost all of it is classified as waste water. Some of it is not and could be used by others. They are wasting more produced potable water than they are using because it easier to classify all of it as waste water and dispose of it. They inject waste water into reservoirs located below the fresh water aquifers. If the casing in an injection well leaks then it can contaminate those fresh water aquifers. The regulatory agencies make each operator file reports proving those injection wells are not leaking so each operator is required to find and fix the leaks. But you have to have a leak and contaminate a given radius around the wellbore before you can fix the problem. Lets address that issue.