It is time for the coal bed methane industry to do it right. Montana’s groundwater must be protected. There are close to 1,000 wells in Montana now, and the number will increase. Up to 26,000 coal bed methane wells are projected for Montana. Coal bed methane development began over 10 years ago, and there is room to put some water back. Northern Plains Resource Council feels that the time is right to recharge the aquifers by putting some of the millions of gallons of water brought to the surface back into the depleted wells.
The high sodium water that is dumped into the Tongue River is causing damage to our irrigated fields. By putting the water back to recharge the aquifers, the damage will go away. It is time for legislation that provides an incentive to coal bed methane developers to put the water back. Northern Plains hopes for bipartisan support in the Legislature for aquifer recharge. Groundwater is too important to waste. The coal seam aquifers are a critical source for farmers’ and ranchers’ wells and springs and they must be protected for future generations. Northern Plains urges all of you to support legislation to put the water back where it came from—underground.
Coal Bed Methane Task Force for the Northern Plains Resource Council