The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District has approved a new water sale from Seneca Lake to a Utica shale driller.
The agency’s governing board, meeting at Atwood Lake last week, approved a deal for August through October with Colorado-based Antero Resources.
The board agreed to reduce the maximum per-day amount of water being sold from 2 million to 1.5 million gallons because of drier conditions in those months.
Antero will pay $6 per 1,000 gallons. The deal sets a maximum amount of 138 million gallons of water, officials said.
Last April, the district agreed to provide up to 184 million gallons of water from Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties in a separate deal with Antero, despite protests from the local grass-roots group Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water.
Antero holds about 20 Utica shale permits near Seneca Lake. It has plans for creating a private water system costing as much as $60 million to provide water to its hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations in Ohio’s Utica shale. That plan includes about 10 water-storage facilities connected by pipelines.
Last February, the district approved a $40.3 million natural gas lease with Antero for 6,500 acres at Seneca Lake. The district will be paid a leasing bonus of $6,200 per acre, plus a royalty of 20 percent on natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids from Antero wells on district-owned land.
To date, the district has approved six water deals from three lakes: Clendening in Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, Piedmont in Harrison and Belmont counties and Seneca.
Stretching from Akron to the Ohio River, the district covers 14 reservoirs and dams in 18 counties along the Muskingum and Tuscarawas rivers.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.