By AMY GAREIS   News-Herald Staff Writer

PIEDMONT – Two local lakes could provide water sources to at least one oil and gas company after the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District authorized temporary sales at a recent meeting.

Conservancy officials are looking to sell water from Piedmont and Clendening Lakes during its drawdown period in November and is currently negotiating a deal with Gulfport Energy Corp., which has operations in both areas. The MWCD Board of Directors took action following a briefing on oil and gas activities at its Sept. 21 meeting and officials said it would help reduce tanker truck traffic on rural roadways during the drawdown period.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases more than six billion gallons of water downstream from both lakes as part of routine flood reduction operations, while oil and gas companies generally require 5-10 million gallons for fracking at individual well sites. The temporary sales, which are presently limited to the Piedmont- and Freeport-area waterways, will be negotiated with the industry and capped at designated amounts.

Read the complete story in the September 29, 2012 print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.