The Roundup -

By Tie Shank 

West Dakota Water: Expanding the Use of the Missouri River


WDW employees installing water lines

WILLISTON: West Dakota Water, a subsidiary company to JMAC Resources, Inc., is an oilfield water resources contractor specializing in fresh water sourcing, transportation, and conveyance for well completions and production maintenance.

WDW was granted an industrial permit by the ND State Water Commission to withdraw a total of 12,000 acre feet from two access points on the Missouri River.  The first is in McKenzie County and is for 10,000 acre feet, the second is in Williams County for another 2000 acre feet.  In addition to this, WDW was also permitted to construct permanent submerged intakes into the Missouri River for withdrawing this water. One is currently in place at the McKenzie County site.  The installed intakes allow for year round access to the water even in the harshest weather conditions.

Deb Halvorson, JMAC Resources Director of Business Process states, "It's amazing how important our region has become to the health of the nation's economy and energy security.  We've always had a large role, especially due to our productive farms and ranches and other industries and resources, but certainly this expansion in oil production has been remarkable. That said, the way we develop our resources is critical.  We don't want to look across the landscape one day after the dust has settled from this boom and see that the beauty and productivity have been destroyed.  That is why I've become so proud to be part of the West Dakota Water team and what we are doing."

Everybody benefits: North Dakota benefits when water is put to beneficial use, as the water is used in North Dakota as opposed to downriver states. Operators benefit by having access to a reliable source of quality water and counties benefit by the dollar amount being saved from reducing road and maintenance costs, said JMAC Resources President Jon McCreary in an email. McCreary adds, "Over the past two years, WDW has piped over one billion gallons of water to the industry and saved McKenzie and Williams County as much as $20 million in road repair cost by taking trucks off the road."

WDW lines laying flat across the Badlands

WDW's goal is to manage the water life cycle for operators within their core territory and they have remained committed to their focus of delivering water to under serviced areas without using trucks. However, the industry has changed in that the amount of water used per frac has increased, while the number of fracs has decreased due to lower oil prices. "The two factors generally offset each other," says McCreary.

Being able to expand North Dakota's use of the Missouri River, eliminating several millions of miles of trucking, while working with land owners so that their farms and ranches can remain great farms and ranches for generations to come hits home for Halvorson as a North Dakotan and a landowner.


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