Competition for shrinking window of low salinity groundwater

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Competition for shrinking window of low salinity groundwater

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Competition for shrinking window of low salinity groundwater
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Groundwater resources are being stressed from the top down and bottom up. Declining water tables and near-surface contamination are driving groundwater users to construct deeper wells in many US aquifer systems. This has been a successful short-term mitigation measure where deep groundwater is fresh and free of contaminants. Nevertheless, vertical salinity profiles are not well-constrained at continental-scales. In many regions, oil and gas activities use pore spaces for energy production and waste disposal. Here we quantify depths that aquifer systems transition from fresh-to-brackish and where oil and gas activities are widespread in sedimentary basins across the United States. Fresh-brackish transitions occur at relatively shallow depths of just a few hundred meters, particularly in eastern US basins. We conclude that fresh groundwater is less abundant in several key US basins than previously thought; therefore drilling deeper wells to access fresh groundwater resources is not feasible extensively across the continent. Our findings illustrate that groundwater stores are being depleted not only by excessive withdrawals, but due to injection, and potentially contamination, from the oil and gas industry in areas of deep fresh and brackish groundwater.

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reference associate professor at the College of Engineering and your when viewing program at university of Saskatchewan so I'm like or others on
this I done for Macintoshes geologists and geochemists from university Arizona and the Department of Hydrology in atmospheric sciences have also working with Scottish echo from the principle of environment from UCSB and dead and damper Braun is also at UCSB out with their environments studies
program so what we've done is we've looked at the distribution of salinity in groundwater over a range of sedimentary basins in United States so our promise was is that a longer is we're seeing Gralla stress and and typically that's been studied from from the top down through dead dropping water tables our research that has been done by the monitoring eyebrow levels or through other arrive techniques like a great satellites was missing from this picture is is
just how deep those our resources extend it's a little bit trickier to get at that question so we went through a the data mining exercise to try and sort out of the water chemistry constraints on them class we went through some
data from the United States Geological Survey primarily so they have of a database of brackish ground water has been put together over the past few years and they maintain that a database of half-truths waters from the ion gas industry added and then slowly adding to over the past several years we we must those 2 together and and trying to come up with some compositing profiles where our salinity would look like they're going deeper into into the air of them in some assumptions about how fresh groundwater extends so historically this of mostly men from assumptions but we've seen anywhere from a kilometer 2 2 kilometers that potentially you should be able to find a fresh ground water appeared at continue drawing on we looked at that data that was out there that doesn't seem to be supported that there are a number of cases were potentially you could go of kilometers so the
these other areas of United States were it's maybe a maximum of 2 or 300 meters and you run it said in ground water and essentially you be done in terms of water resources what conclusion is that there's not as much ground water as we thought so some of these previous estimates have and quite right that we don't have as much ground water as as we thought we did in the some other issues around some of other activities going on specifically oil and gas so if we look at where we've had the hydraulic fracturing of from gas development coal-bed methane development or disposal wells for a produced water
from the gas industry some these are actually quite close to fresh groundwater resources remain overlap with brackish ground water resources in some places and brackish ground water as a right now it's maybe not a viable drinking water resource in a widespread way but there are a few hundred systems were municipalities in it states are using brackish ground water through technologies like reverse osmosis for arriving water supplies so that overlap correct perhaps damaging summary strategic resources in the world of the use of we show on a map of these groundwater systems in the United States and 1 of the things that is quite stark is that there is kind of an East-West trends in the data and and that's interesting because we have places like California where we have had droughts since in the central valley and as it turns out it is a viable strategy at least for now to drill deeper and deeper wells in places like California Arizona better arid and water short but if we ever had that problem and save Michigan or Ohio was like sailing growlers perhaps only a few hundred meters deep solos tend to deepwater wells that were drawing in the U.S. Southwest it just wouldn't be an option and other parts the United States