The Narragansett Indian Tribe will serve as a backup water supplier for a proposed natural gas power plant in Burrillville.
The company developing the power plant, Invenergy, said the tribe will provide water as needed from a water supply system on tribal land. The land is a part of the lower Wood River aquifer in the Pawcatuck Watershed, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates has the potential to yield more than 6 million gallons per day.
The power plant would require only about 15,000 gallons of water each day, according to Invenergy's estimates.
The plant's developer said under the deal, the company has agreed to pay the tribe annually even if the plant doesn’t use their water.
A Narragansett spokesman said in a statement the agreement will provide much-needed revenue for the tribe.
Invenergy currently has an agreement with Johnston town officials to serve as the primary water supplier. The company agreed to pay the town more than $18 million dollars over the next 20 years.
The Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, sued Invenergy and Johnston in March for their water contract claiming it is illegal.