US Army Corps of Engineers considering change to reservoir water use along Missouri River

Aug 21, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering changing how reservoir water is used along the Missouri River.

The Corps is holding a series of public meetings to get input on whether to permanently allocate some of that water for municipal and industrial uses.

What does an oil and gas boom in North Dakota have to do with Missouri River reservoirs?

Hydrofracturing – the process that gets new wells up and running – takes lots of water.

Eric Laux of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, says the Corps will meet those needs with temporary, five-to-ten-year water contracts.

But Laux says for the long-term, the Corps needs to figure out how to meet municipal and industrial water demands without compromising other uses – like flood control and navigation.

And he says the Corps is looking for input from stakeholders: “If they have concerns that they’re a current user and what does the future hold for them, we can talk with them about that, and about what the reallocation study might mean to them.”

The Corps is holding public meetings throughout the Missouri River Basin over the next two weeks.

Two of those meetings are in Missouri…there’s one in St. Joseph on Tuesday and another in St. Louis on Wednesday.