Impacts of energy development on the waters of the northern Great Plains

TitleImpacts of energy development on the waters of the northern Great Plains
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1977
AuthorsFogarty, W. J.
Conference Name45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1977
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico
KeywordsWater consumption for energy, Water management

Development of the energy resources, particularly coal, is now and will continue playing an ever increasing role in the future of the West. The main questions are where, when and to what extent will the development occur. One of the main restricting factors in answering these questions is the availability of water. In the Upper Missouri Basin estimates are that agriculture accounts for over 90% of the present consumptive water use, urban growth approximately 4% and mining far less than 1%. Projecting to the year 2000 when coal production could reach 400 million tons annually, water consuption due to mining is predicted at 7-14,000 acre feet, which represents only about 1/10th of the current water consumption for the region. Energy conversion facilities principally gasification and electric generating plants, are being projected to use approximately 77% of the total annual consumptive use in the Northern Great Plains region by 2000. In 1970, the average annual streamflows in the Upper Missouri Basin amounted to approximately 26 million acre feet.