A program that took water loaned from farmers, ranchers and municipalities and put it in low-flowing streams was successful this summer. The so-called "Request for Water" initiative added water to more than 190 river and stream miles this year.
Dirty water from the oil wells flows through oil-caked pipes into a settling pit where trucks vacuum off the oil. A net covers the pit to keep out birds and other wildlife. Streams of this wastewater flow through the reservation and join natural creeks and rivers.
The air reeks so strongly of rotten eggs that tribal leader Wes Martel hesitates to get out of the car at an oil field on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He already has a headache from the fumes he smelled at another oil field.