Dunn cites fresh water aquifer crisis
Dunn cites fresh water aquifer crisis.
HOBBS, N.M. – New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn issued a news release Thursday in an effort to clarify his decision regarding fresh water used by the oil and gas industry.
Conversely, non-fresh water sources are available that can be used in oil and gas production.” Effective July 1, the State Land Office, without first reviewing hydrologic information, will not approve new, or renew, land access to drill water wells on State Trust Lands that involve the use of fresh water from the Ogallala aquifer for oil and gas production and related activities.
Dunn adopted a policy in January seeking to protect fresh water under State Trust Lands, implementing the policy at this time.
“As we understand, this regulation will only pertain to water wells that are drilled on state trust lands.
“Related activities is everything in town.
Everything in town is oil related,” he said after receiving a letter from the State Land Office informing him of the policy.
The oil and gas industry already has begun efforts to find alternatives to fresh water, according to several sources.
Terrell said Thursday, “The industry is taking a lot of different looks at the use of fresh water and what we can do to find other alternative sources to fracture our wells with, such as recycling water and using produced water rather than fresh water.” Produced water is water that has already been used in the field and is unfit for drinking.
Last week Rep. Larry Scott, R-Hobbs, owner of Lynx Petroleum, addressing the subject of reducing use of fresh water, said, “The industry is moving in that direction.