Oil and natural gas wells within about a 100-mile radius of Rawlins produce more than 400 million barrels of water annually, according to industry estimates. Most all of that water is either dumped into ponds to evaporate (adding to the greenhouse effect) or is injected into deep hydrologic “waste” zones.
(Ben) Hinman used to work as a pumper for one of the major natural gas producers in the Wamsutter gas field. “It was frustrating seeing them waste this water,” said Hinman.
Hinman said he was proud to work in the oil and gas industry. He cherished the lifestyle it afforded him to spend in Wyoming’s outdoors hunting and hiking. But working at the water reclamation plant is even more gratifying because he believes the process helps strike the balance most Wyomingites seek between energy development and environmental conservation.
“That’s why when I heard what Red Desert was doing, I said I’m on-board,” said Hinman.