C-BT Tracking Rule

Modifications to the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule

In early 2021, the Northern Water Board of Directors approved modifications to the 2018 Colorado-Big Thompson Project Water Tracking Rule and related Accounting Procedures and rescinded the 2012 Rules Governing C-BT and Windy Gap Project Water for Development of Oil and Gas Wells.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Northern Water modify the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule to replace the 2012 Rules Governing C-BT and Windy Gap Project Water for development of oil and gas wells?

The 2012 Rules Governing C-BT and Windy Gap Project Water for Development of Oil and Gas Wells (2012 C-BT Oil and Gas Rules) did not anticipate the manner in which C-BT Project water is now commonly delivered for oil and gas drilling well development purposes. Further, the 2012 C-BT Oil and Gas Rules did not cover other non-allottee industrial and commercial uses. 

In 2012, treated C-BT was generally delivered for oil and gas well development through utility water “filling stations” into tanker trucks. Now untreated C-BT is generally delivered to oil and gas from ditches, ponds, reservoirs and rivers. The 2012 C-BT Oil and Gas Rules did not contemplate this new delivery system. This has resulted in difficulty and frustration for C-BT allottees, C-BT account entities, oil and gas entities and Northern Water staff in implementing the 2012 C-BT Oil and Gas Rules.

Modifications to the 2018 C-BT Project Water Tracking Rules take into account how C-BT is now delivered for these purposes. The modifications also include accounting requirements for other non-allottee commercial and industrial uses, and provide for more consistency in accounting requirements.

What did the original 2018 C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule and related accounting procedures cover?

They covered accounting for the storage of C-BT in non-C-BT Project facilities, river diversion and river exchange of C-BT, domestic/municipal treated C-BT, and domestic/municipal C-BT return flows. 

What do the modifications to the C-BT Tracking Rule and related accounting procedures require concerning oil and gas well development and other non-allottee commercial and industrial uses?

In general, the modifications require information concerning location and type of use of C-BT and daily accounting submitted monthly of all oil and gas well development uses and other non-allottee commercial and industrial uses.

What process did the Northern Water Board of Directors follow to adopt the modified rule?

The Board of Directors followed a public rule-making process to adopt the modified rule. The process included publishing notice of the draft rule in newspapers and a public hearing on Jan. 14, 2021 which allowed for written and verbal public comments on the draft rule and related accounting procedures prior to the Board approving the final rule.

Was there other communication about the proposed changes?

We mailed a postcard to all account entities informing them of the proposed modifications to the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule and the formal rule making process. We also met with agricultural and domestic/municipal account entities, and other pertinent parties who historically supplied C-BT to oil and gas entities to learn about their use of C-BT and inform them of the modifications to the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule.

When does the C-BT Tracking Rule accounting procedures require suppliers to begin submitting accounting for oil and gas well development and other non-allottee commercial and industrial uses?

Accounting is required now that the modified rule and accounting procedures were approved.

Do the modifications of the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule include accounting or other requirements for Windy Gap Project water or other non-CBT Project water?

No, the rule only concerns accounting for the use of C-BT. 

What happened to the existing 2012 Oil and Gas Rules?

The 2012 Oil and Gas Rules were rescinded at the same time the modifications to the C-BT Project Water Tracking Rule were approved.

Does an entity have to submit accounting to Northern Water if that accounting has already been submitted to the Colorado Division of Water Resources?

Northern Water will use the information submitted to the Colorado Division of Water Resources that is publicly available, and will not require an additional submittal, if it provides the necessary information on the use and return flows of C-BT.