"BISMARCK, N.D. -- Temporary, no-cost permits to tap surplus water from North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea will be issued to oil drillers and other industrial users until a national policy can be developed on how much, if anything, to charge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday."
"North Dakota Sens. Kent Conrad and John Hoeven, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem released statements saying the state will fight any attempt by the federal government to charge water users in the future.
North Dakota's booming oil patch in the western part of the state has brought big demands for water. To keep pace with escalating production, state and oil industry officials want to draw water from Lake Sakakawea, the largest of the six reservoirs on the Missouri River. One well in North Dakota's rich Bakken formation can use up to 3 million gallons of water during hydraulic fracturing, a process that uses pressurized fluid and sand to break open oil-bearing rock 2 miles underground."
James MacPherson reports for the Associated Press May 9, 2012.