While it has been said that the most precious resource we have are “people,” many of us here on this planet of billions of people may question whether this holds true any more. Here in Wyoming and the Sheridan area, high regards are put on our community, our citizens and our area but it may be “water” that is our most precious resource.
With ever expanding development in the area, water should be questioned as our most sacred commodity. The potential of adequate water doesn’t seem threatened when viewing the spring run off on Goose Creek.
Although with companies expanding to the area and their increased needs to achieve their goals, they will require vast amounts of water. They get their water from the same sources as our residences do.
The amount of water it takes to drill one single oil well is between 60 to 600,000 gallons. Hydraulic fracturing sometimes requires 43,000 gallons to as much as 23 million gallons of water. On average, residences consume about 64,000 gallons of water a year per household with an average personal usage of about 16,000. These figures, like our national debt, are sometimes hard to imagine in perspective.
New oil and gas development could bring approximately 17,000 new wells to various parts of Wyoming. These drilling projects would all be required to apply for water permits in order to regulate our water consumption. But justified or not, water has become our most “precious” resource.
Our local appeal to commissioners and state legislators is that we have intelligent contributions to the discussion of water usage. Changing weather patterns and continued drought conditions threaten our local living environment, even if there are not any new developments in the area.
Let’s make our best effort to keep our rivers and streams flowing and the trout smiling.