Sakakawea water allowed for oil patch use
After almost three years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved the use of water from Lake Sakakawea for hydraulic fracturing projects in the Bakken oil patch. The hold up is due to a decision from the corps to charge a fee for storing the lake water, while the North Dakota State Water Commission argued that the water belonged to the state, and the corps could not charge a fee for something it didn’t own. The Water Commission has been holding 20 applications for water use while the debate was sorted out. Though still unresolved, the corps will approve its first surplus water agreement, and if a storage fee is implemented, it will not be retroactive. See more in the Bismarck Tribune article.