WATER DEVELOPMENT FOR COAL PIPELINES:
THE ETSI STORY
Wesley M. Witten
President, ETSI Pipeline Co.
New Sources of Water for Energy
Development and Growth: Interbasin Transfers
a short course sponsored by the
Natural Resources Law Center
University of Colorado School of Law
June 7-10, 1982
A. Pioneering History of Coal Pipelines
1. Initial patents granted in 1891.
2. First pipeline operated in 1914,
3. Consolidation Coal's East Lake
pipeline, Cadiz, Ohio, 1957.
4. Black Mesa pipeline, Arizona to
B. Impetus for Coal Pipelines
1. OPEC oil embargo 1973.
2. Abundant domestic coal reserves
3. Limitations of existing transporta-
4. Safety and environmental compati-
5. System reliability and cost efficiency.
C. ETSI Pipeline Project Description
1. Integrated 1,386 miles, 40 inch
diameter, pipeline to transport
coal slurry from Wyoming coal
mines to electrical utility
and industrial customers in
2. Annual through put is 30 million
tons, which will require approx-
imately 20,000 acre-feet of
water per year.
3. Construction is expected to
commence in Spring of 1983 and
initial delivery to being in 1985.
4. Construction cost is approximately
5. Venture partners in ETSI are
Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb
D. Water Development Program
1. ETSI initially determined that
as an industrial water user it
would not. compete with agricul-
ture for scare surface water
supplies available within the
Powder River Basin of Wyoming.
2. Initially, Madison Formation
aquifer selected as primary
source with Oahe Reservoir as
3. 1974 Wyoming Legislature approved
use of water from Madison For-
mation aquifer under permit
conditions to be set by state
4. 1980 South Dakota Legislature
authorized water permits for
energy industry use and ETSI
negotiated a contract to have
water right for 50,000 acre-feet
assigned to it by the State
5. Oahe Reservoir is now the primary
source of water for ETSI Project,
and example of state-industry
II. Oahe Reservoir Water Development
A. Necessary approvals for right to
1. South Dakota Water Management
Board Water right permit.
2. South Dakota Conservancy District -
3. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation -
Water Service Contract.
4. Corps of Engineers 404 permit
and real estate easement.
B. Water Availability in Main Stem
1. Average annual flow at Oahe Dam
is 16,936,000 acre-feet/year.
2. Missouri River average annual
flow (at Sioux City, Iowa) 28.4
3. Average storage in Oahe Reservoir
is 18 million acre-feet.
4. Six main-stem Missouri dams store
annual average of 60 million
5. ETSI's water right to 50,000
acre-feet per year is equal to
ten percent of net annual
evaporation loss from Oahe.
50,000 acre-feet per year is not
within the degree of accuracy
for measuring discharge through
C. Earlier Energy Industry State Water
Permits and Federal Service Agreements
in Main-Stem Missouri River
1. Basin Electric Power Cooperative -
2. ANG Coal Gasification Company -
A. Allocation of Missouri River
1. As interstate stream rights of
all states must be respected by
sister states and federal government.
2. As individual projects show
feasibility and beneficial use I
under state law they should go
B. Benefits of ETSI Project
1. Additional mode of highly reliable
2. Delivery of water to western South
3. Technical Assistance Program for
4. Employment, property tax and other
C. Environmental compatibility
1. One million acre feet available
for energy development from
Missouri River System without
interfering with other users.
Water for Energy: Missouri River
Reservoirs, Final Environmental
Impact Statement, FEIS77-43, U.S.
Department of Interior (December 1,
2. ETSI EIS found widest range of
benefits and environmental protec-
tion would be .served by Oahe water