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Toilet to Tap a Magic aquifer?  [ Sun Mar 4 2012 1:29 PM ]

Some of the supposed facts in the article don't seem to match reality. Thomson says a thousand years from now a contaminant would still be within a mile or half a mile of where it was injected. Really, then how does he explain the contaminants of jet fuel from Kirtland AFB that have migrated from the base thru the aquifer to areas more than a mile north of the AFB in less than 50 years? Do jet fuel contaminants move faster? Obviously the movement of contaminants depends on the porosity of the aquifer, as well as its slope. In Rio Rancho all the aquifers tend to slope to the east toward the low point of the Rio Grande rift, that is the area beneath the river.

Also because the city will be injecting about 2.2 million gallons a day, this means about 6.75 acre ft. per day or 202 acre feet per month,or 2,400 acre ft. per year. That is a pretty large area. If the flow of the injected water is a slow as he says, then there is going to be a large bubble of water below the injection well.

Another point not covered in the article is that on average cities in the southwest U.S. use about 40% of their water for outdoor use, watering lawns, gardens, golf courses, athletic fields, and miscellaneous wastage, such as swamp coolers and car washing. This means that only 60% of the water will be re-injected, so eventually Rio Ranch will run out of ground water. The city fathers need to be considering limiting population growth and to adopt a policy of sustainability. After all the average resident can only cut back on their water use so much before it effects their quality of life.

The re-injection of the water would seem to be the start of a last gap measure which will only delay a crisis. Being an old guy it won't effect me (or the city fathers?) but young people should be concerned.

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