Availability of Water for Coal Conversion

by Phil Q. Gibbs, Regional Planning Engr.; Upper Missouri Region, Bureau of Reclamation, Billings, Mont.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 219-225

Document Type: Journal Paper


Coal is abundant in the Northern Great Plains. Other forms of energy from converting coal require water. Sources where substantial water supplies are available are limited, but there are some that could serve Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Sources are primarily in Upper Missouri River Basin and tributaries. Yellowstone River Compact allocates water between Montana and Wyoming on four interstate tributaries. Existing storage impoundments are preferred. Locations, capacities, and streamflow are shown. Possible routes and cost of water conveyance have been determined in studies by Bureau of Reclamation. Energy companies hold options to some stored waters. Ground water from Madison Formation deep beneath the Fort Union-Powder Basin Coal Region is possible alternative water source. Federal and state cooperation is required to make developments possible, and developers are required to satisfy environmental statutes.

Subject Headings: Water management | Rivers and streams | Basins | Water storage | Water reclamation | Energy conversion | Hydro power | Coal | United States | Montana | Wyoming | North Dakota | Missouri River

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