At the most recent meeting of the Red River Groundwater Conservation District Board on Thursday, General Manager Jerry Chapman explained a recent change in RRGCD policy to protect the district from involvement in legal disputes between landowners and drilling companies active in the region.

At the most recent meeting of the Red River Groundwater Conservation District Board on Thursday, General Manager Jerry Chapman explained a recent change in RRGCD policy to protect the district from involvement in legal disputes between landowners and drilling companies active in the region.


"From now on," Chapman said, "we’re asking for the owner’s signature on (drilling) applications. We had a case where an energy company represented that they had a lease on a piece of property, but the lease had expired."


Chapman later clarified that the district’s policy prevents any legal disputes between landowners and drilling companies from spilling over into the district’s area of accountability. Chapman said the RRGCD’s only interest in tracking how much groundwater is drawn by all wells in its jurisdiction.


Chapman said companies active in the area have recently begun drilling wells to draw water for hydraulic fracturing, also called "fracking," which is a method of natural gas production. Chapman said of the demand placed on groundwater resources by this method, "Companies have a right to produce water to produce energy. … We have always had a good working relationship with these companies."