Water Under the Desert

From my colleague Sean Olson, on the discovery of brackish water 3,770 feet (1,150 meters) beneath the New Mexico desert:

The county started drilling an exploratory well in the Rio Puerco about a month ago on the educated hunch there was a large supply of brackish salt water deep within the surface.

It was a gamble with more than $2 million in taxpayer funding attached to it— but the county has come out on top.

Last week the county hit the jackpot: the potential for up to 50,000 acre feet of water per year for 100 years discovered at about 3,770 feet, county development director Michael Springfield said.

One Comment

  1. A *100-year* water supply for this:

    “The project materialized with the help of developer Recorp Partners of Scottsdale, Ariz., which was looking for a 100-year water source to build Rio West— a master planned community due west of Rio Rancho capable of supporting about 70,000 people.”

    I have to say this sounds like a good working definition of insanity. I have no idea what the overall water supply picture for that area is, but it being in the desert west it seems likely that not all of the existing sources are completely reliable for the long term.

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