" Oil and gas companies estimate that they will use about 6.5 billion gallons of water in Colorado this year, and that figure makes up only 0.1 percent of overall water use, according to state data. Their consumption represents more water than is used making snow on the ski slopes or greening the state’s golf courses. But it is paltry compared with the deluge needed for irrigation and agriculture, which accounts for 85.5 percent of Colorado’s water use.
Still, the industry is growing fast. The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission estimates that the state’s oil and gas water needs will grow by 16 percent over the next three years.
“Water flows uphill to money,” said Mike Chiropolos, a lawyer for Western Resource Advocates, an environmental group based in Boulder. “It’s only going to get more precious and more scarce.”"