Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Land and Water Summit 2018

Xeriscape Council and Arid LID Storm water and Tree Canopy February 22-23 for more informatin

USDA Forest Service is seeking grant applications for forest restoration projects on public and tribal lands in New Mexico

The USDA Forest Service is seeking grant applications for forest restoration projects on public and tribal lands in New Mexico by 5 PM, MST, Tuesday, February 27, 2018. “Approximately $3 million will be awarded under the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program this year in New Mexico,” said Southwestern Regional Forester Cal Joyner. “The Forest Service will provide grants of up to $360,000 for projects that will be implemented in four years or less.” The program encourages diverse organizations to collaborate on the design, implementation and monitoring of restoration projects on public and tribal lands. Grant money is available for projects on federal, tribal, state, county or municipal lands in New Mexico. By working together to apply for these grants, small business owners, conservation and environmental groups, community groups, tribes, universities and other organizations can help reduce the threat of wildfire, improve forest and watershed conditions and bring jobs and job training to local communities. Applications should reflect local and traditional knowledge in developing creative ways to reduce the number and density of small diameter trees on public lands. Proponents are encouraged to submit proposals for projects that facilitate landscape-scale, multi-jurisdictional efforts such as NEPA planning, landscape assessments or Community Wildfire Protection Plans. Tribes, state and local governments, educational institutions, private landowners, conservation organizations, non-profit groups, and other interested public and private entities are encouraged to apply. “Last year the Forest Service awarded $3.4 million for 10 CFRP grants,” said Joyner. “A technical advisory panel reviewed the applications and made recommendations to us on the applications that best met the objectives of the program.” For questions regarding the Program or to develop project applications, please contact one of the following program coordinators in your area: Forest, City Coordinator Phone Email Carson, Taos Raul Hurtado 575-758-6344 Cibola, Albuquerque Ian Fox 505-346-3814 Gila, Silver City Julia F. Rivera 575-388-8212 Lincoln, Alamogordo Mark Cadwallader 575-434-7375 Santa Fe, Santa Fe Reuben Montes 505-438-5356 The Forest Service will be sponsoring grant writing workshops throughout New Mexico for those interested in learning more about the program and the application process. Contact the program coordinators listed above for more details. Information is also available at the Southwestern Region website at The Collaborative Forest Restoration Program 2018 Annual Workshop will be held on January 10-11, 2018 in the Jemez Rooms of the Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87508 (Jemez Rooms), 1-505-428-1000. The workshop is open to the public and there is no charge for attending. A separate email will be going out shortly with more information on the Workshop including the agenda. Thank you, Walter Dunn Walter Dunn, Program Manager Collaborative Forest Restoration/Southwest Ecological Restoration Institutes Forest Service Cooperative & International Forestry, Southwestern Region p: 505-842-3425 c: 505-301-1291 f: 505-842-3165 333 Broadway Blvd., SE Albuquerque, NM 87102 Caring for the land and serving people Posted by Eddy County E

This is a notification that the public notice and associated federal comment period have been opened for the draft of the DS Rainmakers Utilities, LLLC ( NM0029238).

________________________________________ Draft Permit Public Notice Announcement This is a notification that the public notice and associated federal comment period have been opened for the draft of the DS Rainmakers Utilities, LLLC ( NM0029238). The permit, fact sheet/statement of basis and other associated information can be found at the following websites: and/or The NMED Surface Water Quality Bureau, Point Source Regulation Section has opened the comment period for consideration in development of the State’s Clean Water Act 401 Certification of the draft permit per NMAC. For this facility, if you have comments that you would like NMED to consider as the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification is drafted, please send them to: Sarah Holcomb, Program Manager NMED SWQB Point Source Regulation Section PO Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502 505-827-2798 For more information on the draft permit, contact the following assigned staff contact: Sandra Gabaldon NMED SWQB Point Source Regulation Section PO Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502 505-827-1041 ________________________________________ NMED does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex in the administration of its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. NMED is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Part 7, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. If you have any questions about this notice or any of NMED’s non-discrimination programs, policies or procedures, you may contact: Kristine Pintado, Non-Discrimination Coordinator New Mexico Environment Department 1190 St. Francis Dr., Suite N4050 P.O. Box 5469 Santa Fe, NM 87502 (505) 827-2855 If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a NMED program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified above or visit our website at to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination.

Watershed-Based Planning Projects

________________________________________ Dear Partners in Water Quality, The New Mexico Environment Department's Surface Water Quality Bureau is requesting applications for Watershed-Based Planning Projects. The Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) was released on November 9, 2017, with applications due by 5:00 pm Mountain Time on January 18, 2018. Applications must be submitted via email as described in the RFGA. The RFGA is available online at Any questions or comments concerning this RFGA should be addressed in writing to the Watershed Protection Section Program Manager: Abraham Franklin Surface Water Quality Bureau New Mexico Environment Department P.O. Box 5469 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502 Thank You, The Surface Water Quality Bureau ________________________________________ NMED does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex in the administration of its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. NMED is responsible for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning non-discrimination requirements implemented by 40 C.F.R. Part 7, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 13 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. If you have any questions about this notice or any of NMED’s non-discrimination programs, policies or procedures, you may contact: Kristine Pintado, Non-Discrimination Coordinator New Mexico Environment Department 1190 St. Francis Dr., Suite N4050 P.O. Box 5469 Santa Fe, NM 87502 (505) 827-2855 If you believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a NMED program or activity, you may contact the Non-Discrimination Coordinator identified above or visit our website at to learn how and where to file a complaint of discrimination.

NM WRRI Hosts Workshop on Desalination Efforts in the Mesilla Basin

NM WRRI Hosts Workshop on Desalination Efforts in the Mesilla Basin by Avery Olshefski, NM WRRI Program Coordinator New Mexico State University and the Bureau of Reclamation are in the second year of a five-year cooperative agreement that seeks to increase scientific knowledge and research expertise in the area of characterization, treatment, and use of alternative waters in New Mexico and the western U.S. The agreement is currently supporting nine NMSU research projects involving impaired water. The agreement also supports an annual community learning meeting with the goal of reaching out to the broader community potentially impacted by the research in order to elicit stakeholder input.
Produced Water Treatment Systems Market Will Generate New Growth Opportunities by 2020 By ram singh - October 25, 2017 241 0 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Produced water contains a blend of inorganic and organic compounds and is produced during the extraction of oil and gas. In terms of administrative divisions, there is no separation between produced water and oil management. However, multiple stages within oil management cater to the management of produced water. Oil production companies try to reduce the amount of water produced during extraction as higher amount of produced water needs to be consequently treated and disposed. Conventional oil production techniques result in a large amount of produced water. It is estimated that the volumes of produced water across the globe will rise to nearly 340 bn barrels the end of 2020, indicating a massive leap from the nearly 202 bn barrels recorded in 2014. In a recent report, Persistence Market Research states that this significant rise in the global production of produced water will fare well for the global market for produced water treatment in the near future. The report states that the market will expand at a CAGR of 6.1% between the period of 2015 and 2020, rising from US$4.6 bn in 2015 to a revenue opportunity of US$6.0 bn by 2020. Vast Rise in Oil and Gas Exploration Activities to Drive Market The rapid growth of the world population is posing a challenge to the available drinking water supply. Since agriculture and energy production draw more freshwater and produce contaminated water in turn, the water which was once termed as waste is being perceived as a valuable resource. This is creating a need for the treatment of produced water. The potential of oilfield produced water to be a source of fresh water and rising environmental concerns are making produced water treatment a significant part of the oil and gas industry. The stringent legislations on the discharge of produced water into the environment are also driving the global market for produced water treatment systems. Increasing oil to produced water ratio, growing regulatory standards and water scarcity are key driving factors for the increased adoption of these systems. An increase in the rate of exploration of on-shore and off-shore oil and gas resources has also boosted the growth of the global produced water treatment market. The growing prevalence of fracking or land gas drilling through hydraulic fracturing has further augmented the growth of the market. Asia Pacific to Present Most Promising Growth Opportunities From a geographical perspective, the global produced water treatment market presently earns a significant share of its overall revenues from the North America market. Charting revenue worth US$1.73 bn recorded in 2015, the regional market is expected to account for over 41% of the overall market by 2020. A significant rise in oil exploration activities in the region and stringent government regulations regarding the release of treated and polluted water in larger water bodies have fuelled the need for effective produced water treatment systems in North America. In the near future, however, the market in Asia Pacific will likely to expand at the most promising pace in the global market, accosting for a significant share of the overall revenue generated by the global produced water treatment market by the end of 2020. The Asia Pacific produced water treatment market is envisioned to grow rapidly owing to a constantly reducing supply of usable water, especially across countries such as China and India. Request and Download Sample Report @

Well Owners Told to Lower Water Injection Levels after Oklahoma Quakes November 9, 2017

After a series of small to moderate earthquakes in central Oklahoma, two companies are being told to reduce the amount of wastewater they inject into the ground. About a dozen quakes have struck just south of Hennessey, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Oklahoma City since Oct. 31, the largest being a magnitude 4.1. There are no reports of injury or severe damage. Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner says Choate Disposal Service and Chaparral Energy were told to reduce their injection of wastewater in the area. Thousands of quakes have struck Oklahoma in recent years, many linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. Several oil and gas producers have been directed to close some wells and reduce injection volumes in others. The U.S. Geological Survey reported an another earthquake, one with a preliminary magnitude of 3.7, was recorded in central Oklahoma on Nov. 8. The quake struck at 5:47 a.m. near Covington, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. There are no reports of injury or severe damage. The temblor struck about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of where a series of about a dozen earthquakes, including one of magnitude 4.1, have occurred since Oct. 31. Source:

Best water management practices in the Permian basin

Best water management practices in the Permian basin Water management in unconventional resource plays has become a critical topic over the last several years. To improve project economics, several best practices have begun to emerge. Barry Donaldson, TETRA Technologies The evolution of water management in support of unconventional resource plays has come in response to two main drivers: 1) increasingly expensive freshwater resources; and 2) rising regulatory pressure surrounding the disposal of produced fluids. Historically, the provision of fresh water to support fracturing operations was a relatively straightforward matter of rising costs and complicated logistics. As industrial, agricultural and residential users all continued to increase demand for limited freshwater resources, operators had to accept rising costs associated with acquiring the water needed for fracturing.  As freshwater costs have risen, there has been a contemporaneous increase in regulatory pressure on operators, related specifically to the widely institutionalized practice of produced water disposal via injection wells. The regulatory climate surrounding water disposal wells has become much more stringent, with state regulators taking steps to mitigate the perceived impact of traditional produced and flowback water disposal on area communities. Following a magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Pawnee, Okla., in September 2016, 32 injection wells were capped. Another Oklahoma earthquake in November 2016 resulted in regulators shutting-in seven additional injection wells. In January 2017, California state regulators shut down 30 active injection wells in the Central Valley. For operators, these two factors make new water management practices essential to reduce costs and improve margins. With oil hovering around $50/bbl, operators are striving to heighten productivity and enhance efficiency during fracturing operations, which has further driven innovation in water management. In the current climate, properly managing water resources is a mission-critical aspect of overall project success. CHANGING ATTITUDES A 2013 study, conducted by Halliburton and XTO Energy1, concluded that produced water with total dissolved solids (TDS) levels as high as 285,000 mg/L (28.5% salinity) was shown to generate proper cross-linked rheology for hydraulic fracturing, similar to wells that were being treated with just 20,000 ppm (2% salinity). Further studies supported this finding, with researchers concluding that high TDS levels in produced water are much less of a limiting factor than total suspended solids (TSS) levels, which can be mitigated effectively through various filtering techniques.   For operators concerned with rising costs, produced and flowback water—already at hand and available for repeated use—began to present itself as an attractive choice. Simple calculations supported this decision. If fresh water is used for fracturing operations, and all the produced water is injected into the ground, operators incur trucking, disposal, and storage costs, along with costs to acquire more fresh water for subsequent operations. With an average cost of $0.75/bbl for fresh water and disposal costs ranging from $0.50 to $2.50/bbl, it makes economic sense to reuse produced water rather than pay for fresh water. With a growing understanding of both the viability of recycled produced water as a replacement for fresh water, and the clear cost advantage associated with the use of recycled water, operators began to recognize produced and flowback fluids recycling as a key component of the overall water management plan for unconventional resources. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in the Permian basin, where proactive water management is a central element of overall field development planning. In the region, operators are focusing on water handling facilities and systems that provide innovative and cost-effective water resources for stimulation operations. As the industry increasingly turns toward recycled fluids, certain best practices are beginning to emerge in produced and flowback water recycling. PLANNING FOR THE PERMIAN In 2017, operators used a record amount of water for fracturing operations in the Permian basin. To meet increased demand, companies are building dedicated water handling facilities and focusing on applying the best-available technologies and practices to provide water to the point-of-use in the field.  Thanks to modern fracturing practices that include higher pressures, longer laterals, and new techniques—such as zipper fracing and simultaneous well completions—operators are investing in water gathering and treatment systems, so they can cut down on transportation and disposal costs, while maintaining the water resources that they require to complete their projects.   The first challenge in water management is sourcing sufficient supply. Economics dictate locating sources as close as possible within a given operating area. A key best practice being established across the industry is utilizing non-freshwater sources when possible, including produced water, low-quality water from underground brackish reservoirs, and wastewater from industrial, power, and municipal plants. But these sources exhibit wide variabilities in water quality and consistency, requiring careful planning, treating, and processing before use in fracturing operations. However, new systems developed specifically for solving the high variability challenges inherent with non-potable water supplies make it possible to optimize water resources and minimize disposal volumes.  These systems have demonstrated their value most clearly when processing brackish water in regions with limited fresh water resources. This salty water produced throughout the Permian basin has become a significant alternative water source in many unconventional plays. For instance, in the brackish water-bearing Santa Rosa formation, located at depths of 800 to 1,200 ft, operators are drilling dedicated Santa Rosa wells and treating brackish water to remove sulfates, magnesium, iron, solids and bacteria. The treated water ensures a suitable source for fracturing Wolfcamp, Spraberry and other unconventional play wells.   Fig. 1. Permian basin water management infrastructure. BEST PRACTICES  TETRA Technologies has been a leader in working with operators to implement best practices for water infrastructure planning in the Permian basin. At the core of the company’s water management strategy is a layout of components to support area operations. Figure 1 shows the water infrastructure arrangement employed by the company during a recent reuse project. This representative layout includes: 1) freshwater storage; 2) a produced water trunk line system; 3) gathering and treatment facilities for produced water; and 4) produced water storage and blending tanks. The entire arrangement is strategically located in proximity to several active fracturing locations (5). The planning that supports the development of this water infrastructure includes estimating produced water volumes over the life of the field, as well as frac water volumes required during the completion phase. Additional planning considers the stimulation fluid types to be employed and the types of treatment required to bring recycled frac water in line with project specifications. Each of these factors is an important element in the overall water treatment strategy.  Produced water treatment. Produced water is pumped to a centrally located gathering and treatment facility, where it is stored in above-ground storage tanks and the process of recycling begins. Typically, produced water in the Permian arrives at the facility with high levels of TDS and TSS. Additional attributes include dispersed oil and grease, dissolved gases and bacteria, as well as traces of chemical additives used in production, such as biocides, scale and corrosion inhibitors, and emulsion and reverse-emulsion breakers.  Fig. 2. A new water/oil separation unit. A total water analysis is a critical part of the job planning and identifies overall water compatibility to the frac fluid systems. This analysis forms the basis of the water treatment plan. Typically, the first level of treatment often involves traditional filtering methods to remove suspended solids and the application of biocides to control bacteria. A beneficial byproduct of a strong oxidizing biocide is its ability to remove iron and sulfides effectively, control TSS and residual oil, and improve the overall quality of the produced water for reuse and recycle.  A second level of treatment is provided by TETRA Technologies’ new oil recovery after production technology, called Orapt, in a water/oil separation unit, Fig 2. This stand-alone, mobile unit accelerates the separation with the use of a chemical additive and can produce water with only trace amounts of oil at 50 to 100 ppm. The Orapt system allows operators to save money on disposal, while making money through the sale of captured oil. In several cases, the volume of reclaimed oil has almost paid for the Orapt technology.  Fig. 3. An automated blending setup with: 1) freshwater inlet; 2) produced water inlet; 3) automated blending controller; and 4) blending manifold. Blending. One of the challenges addressed by the company relates to balancing produced water with other sources of water to meet final project specifications for the operator’s fracturing fluid system. The company designed a patent-pending water blending controller and its patented blending manifold to ensure that recycled water is consistent throughout the entire frac specification. The blending manifold allows operators to “dial in” their chemistries and work within a very narrow range. The automated blending setup is shown in Fig. 3. One of the main drivers influencing the success of recycled produced water is the TDS level and its consistency over a given stage. It is taken for granted that frac chemical systems can be tailored to work with high levels of TDS in the water. The amount of produced water that can be used in frac fluids now is essentially driven by the available volume and the cost of delivery. Often, there is not an oversupply of produced water aggregated in practical areas, so operators use a blend of alternative water and produced water. These new, sophisticated frac fluid systems perform optimally with water of uniform TDS and chloride levels. Large spikes over or under the nominally required TDS and chloride level will hinder cross-linking performance and reduce cost efficiency in the form of chemical over-usage, thus negating any savings realized through recycling produced water.   The goal of blending is to use all of the available produced water, as it represents a known cost-savings under the right circumstances. To achieve optimal reuse, the blended water must have consistent quality and remain stable in terms of TDS and chloride concentrations. The most basic method employed to blend fluids is to pump known quantities of two or more components, in specified proportions, into a storage volume where simple diffusion takes place. Water is then pumped from the storage volume and sent to the frac in real-time. This basic blending scheme often results in stratification of the fluid in the tank or pit, as the denser produced water will settle to the bottom. As the suction of the transfer pump usually pulls from the bottom, the denser, higher TDS fluid will be pumped first. As the level drops in the tank, the TDS level will drop in the water being pumped to the frac.  Additionally, if produced water is being trucked into the storage area while the frac is underway, the inevitable result is an ever-changing water quality. This common method is a batch process and, therefore, is difficult to accomplish effectively in a real-time frac transfer. Furthermore, this method usually increases blended-fluid variability that may result in screen-outs or unpredictable stimulation results.  Fig. 4. An automated blending controller is part of the overall frac water blending system. Updated method. A more efficient technique has been adopted by TETRA Technologies for use in the Permian basin and elsewhere. This method incorporates the energy of the fluids moving through conduits in a turbulent fashion to promote the blending of the fluids. This approach is accomplished by pumping the constituents into a wye or multi-inlet manifold, where each input flow rate is controlled and, therefore, volumetric proportions are controlled. A level of homogeneous blending normally results, if the water transfer system design and hydraulic parameters promote turbulent flow after the blending apparatus. Using this method, real-time volumetric proportions are maintained, but TDS levels in the final fluid can vary as the source fluids vary.  The company’s frac water blending system includes a patent-pending automated blending controller, coupled with a patented, on-the-fly blending manifold, Figs. 4 and 5. The combination of these units provides accurate parameter-based blending and consistent blend quality, whether directly filling frac tanks or transferring water to another location. This system permits accurate and consistent blending of different sources of water in real time, removing the need for intermediate storage.  Fig. 5. A blending manifold is also part of the system. The company’s blending manifold provides consistent blend characteristics across all discharge ports. It comprises multiple inlet ports that discharge into the engineered blending chamber. The blended fluid then is distributed to the manifold body, where it exits through one main outlet for further transfer or through multiple, smaller ports typically used for filling frac tanks. Chemical injection ports also are available for adding chemical upstream of the blending chamber.  The blending controller was developed to enable enhanced produced water recycling and, in some cases, to permit produced water reuse altogether. It effectively measures the prescribed blending parameter post-blend and automatically adjusts affluent flowrates locally to achieve the blended water setpoint. This measurement significantly reduces frac water quality variability, as any variation in either influent stream— whether it is caused by actual water-quality or flowrate variations—is mitigated by the controller changing the blend ratio in real time. The resulting frac-water blend remains within the acceptable parameter range with a maximized produced water portion, thereby optimizing reuse.   Having this technology onsite also affords the opportunity to measure incoming water, as well as the blended water quality. The “pre” and “post” data points are logged and provide real-time trending. Having a visual reference of how the different waters evolve is invaluable, as unexpected events related to water quality can be predicted and mitigated by studying the trends. Logged data are used to provide job reports and verify that the system is performing as required. Also, blending data can be transmitted to SCADA systems for real-time monitoring. When something goes wrong downhole, water is often the usual suspect, so being able to demonstrate that the blend is on-target saves valuable time while troubleshooting problems on the frac. CONCLUSION  In the Permian basin, the combination of different operators, frac companies, frac chemical schemes, and water qualities is ever-changing. Some companies do not consider high-level blending accuracy to be necessary in their circumstances. Others demand it. However, all parties now agree that cutting-edge water management in unconventional resource plays is vital to overall project success.  Based on average water acquisition and disposal rates, every barrel of produced water reuse can save up to $2/bbl. On a recent job in support of four multi-well pads, the use of frac-water blending enabled the operator to increase produced water usage from 25% to 55%, with no impact on the fracture treatment, which led to more than 600,000-bbl reduction in freshwater usage over four pads. This reduction translated into $1.5 million in savings to the client, in water acquisition and disposal costs.   REFERENCE  Lebas, R.A., T.W. Shahan, P. Lord, and D. Luna, “Development and use of high-TDS recycled produced water for crosslinked-gel-based hydraulic fracturing” SPE paper 163824 presented at the SPE Hydraulic fracturing technology conference in The Woodlands, Texas, February 4–6, 2013.

New Mexico Water Dialogue 24th Annual Meeting

New Mexico Water Dialogue 24th Annual Meeting January 11, 2018 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque BALANCING OUR WATER NEEDS: ADJUDICATION AND ALTERNATIVES The New Mexico Water Dialogue has been holding annual, statewide meetings for almost 25 years. For these many years, the focus has been on working to ensure that New Mexico has a reliable water supply. We have talked about how to plan, accountability, implementation, economics, declining water supply and increasing growth, adaptation and resilience, opportunities and challenges, conflicts, and political will. We can be proud that water management has improved over these years. But all is not solved. The state has yet to revise a skeletal water plan adopted in 2003, and there are statewide problems that have not been resolved, among them adjudications, federal mandates, interbasin water transfers, reliable data, and long-term water availability.

USDA, Department of Defense, and Interior partner to protect natural resources, enhance habitat and military training

USDA, Department of Defense, and Interior partner to protect natural resources, enhance habitat and military training 12/19/2017 04:00 PM EST Washington, D.C., Dec. 19 2017 – The Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Interior have designated southern Georgia as the newest Sentinel Landscape designed to protect natural resources, enhance habitat for several key species, and maintain military readiness. Through this partnership, more than 20 federal, state and local partners with similar goals work together to sustain working farms and forests, protect vital habitat for several important species and enhance military readiness. Building on a legacy of successful, collaborative land protection in Georgia, diverse partners have identified about 1.3 million acres as critical to helping the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. ________________________________________

NM Town Hall meeting

I attended part of the NM Town Hall meeting 13 December 2017. My comments are my personnel opinion and that alone they do not represent anybody but my self. New Mexico First does an excellent job and the process is really well done. The participation is skewed by those who have time and money to attend. A large percentage of the participants were like me a government employee. Also a majority of the participants were people who wanted water over those who had water. Agriculture was under represented, and production agriculture were extremely under represented. Those of us who did represent Agriculture, work for Agriculture producers. I wish more real Agriculture Producers were there. Urban interest had a greater representation than rural. Northern New Mexico had a much higher representation than Southern and Rio Grand Valley was much higher then Eastern or Western plains. If they do another one I hope it is held on the East Side like Roswell. The process was good, the facilitators were excellent, but participation is voluntary.

Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program.

The U.S. Geological Survey has announced February 15, 2018, 5:00 pm EST, as the deadline for preproposals associated with its Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program. If you are interested in submitting a preproposal, please contact NM WRRI Director Sam Fernald (575-646-4337; or Cathy Ortega Klett (575-646-1195; as soon as possible. The preproposal and budget should be reviewed by NM WRRI no later than February 1, 2018. The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources is requesting preproposals for matching grants to support research on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply, including evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management, and replacement; exploration and advancement of our understanding of changes in the quantity and quality of water resources in response to a changing climate, population shifts, and land use changes; development of methods for better estimation of water supply, both surface and groundwater, including estimation of the physical supply and of the economic supply of water; development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms for integrated surface/ground water management; and the evaluation and assessment of conservation practices. This program provides university researchers with up to $250,000 for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration. It requires a 1:1 non-federal match. The intent of the program is to encourage projects with collaboration between universities and the USGS. Funds have not yet been appropriated for this program for FY 2018 and the Government's obligation under this program is contingent upon the availability of funds. The RFP at gives information on past year funding including award amounts and funding success rates.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Southeastern New Mexico is facing water scarcity issues,

Southeastern New Mexico is facing water scarcity issues, and with an increased demand for freshwater, there is a need for alternative water sources in Eddy and Lea counties. New Mexico State University researchers are studying produced water quality spatial variability and analyzing alternative-source water in the Permian Basin. This site map shows the study area in Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. (Image courtesy Kenneth “KC” Carroll) New Mexico State University researchers are studying produced water quality spatial variability and analyzing alternative-source water in the Permian Basin in Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. This map shows the location of sample points in the three geo-structural regions of the Permian Basin. (Image courtesy Kenneth “KC” Carroll) Faculty and staff from New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute teamed up with researchers from around the state for a feasibility study on the reuse of produced water last year. One of the most relevant findings from the study is that the most feasible use of produced water generated from the oil and gas industry is for that industry to reuse its own produced water, as opposed to using fresh water. Robert Sabie Jr., a geographic information systems analyst for NM WRRI, said this cost-effective solution would allow freshwater to be reserved for drinking water. “The focus of the project was to understand the opportunities for reusing treated produced water, both in and out of the oil and gas industry, in order to preserve the freshwater aquifers. Different water uses require different levels of treatment to attain an appropriate water quality. If the produced water is reused within the oil and gas industry, or for other uses with lower water quality standards, then we can use the cleaner, fresh aquifer water for drinking,” Sabie said. Kenneth “KC” Carroll, an associate professor of water resource management in the NMSU Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, said the oil and gas industry in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico produces large amounts of water. “One of the things we found is that the water produced with oil and gas can be up to 10 times the volume of oil and gas,” Carroll said. “It could be one-to-one, and sometimes no water is produced, but sometimes it’s a lot more.” With water shortages in the southeastern part of the state, it’s important that researchers identify alternatives to purchasing fresh water from farmers and to reinjecting produced water into the subsurface as a wastewater. “Southeastern New Mexico is an area that has water shortage issues and a threatened viability of agriculture,” Carroll said. “Although produced water is a wastewater, it is a large source of available water in a region where water scarcity is impacting agriculture.” Sabie said treatment technology is improving and it is becoming more common for the oil and gas industry to reuse its produced water. It behooves the industry to do so, as there are high costs associated with transporting, treating and injecting the water into designated injection wells. By reusing their own produced water, companies are able to use less costly and semi-mobile regulated treatment plants closer to the oil and gas extraction areas. Sabie was the project manager for the feasibility study, and NM WRRI Director Sam Fernald was the principal investigator. NMSU collaborators included Carroll, as well as Pei Xu, an associate professor of environmental engineering in the NMSU Department of Civil Engineering. “I’m interested in the environmental engineering aspects of produced water,” Xu said. “We need to find an engineering solution to solve the problem. Produced water is such an important topic for the industry, engineering, municipalities and regulatory agencies. The goal is to treat the water.” Xu said the feasibility study was made up of a large team, with each person working on a different aspect of the research. “My job was to investigate the treatment technologies and the cost to treat the water,” she said. “This is an ongoing project. Right now I’m working Dr. Yanyan Zhang, and we are evaluating the environmental toxicity of the produced water and the level of treatment needed to reduce the toxicity of that water. Our goal is to ensure the safe reuse of that produced water.” Carroll’s contributions included looking into how the hydrogeologic or geologic formation variability – how deep and which rocks the water comes from – will affect the produced water quality. He also researched the spatial variability of the produced water quality. “We mapped the salinity of the produced water across most of the Permian Basin at various depths,” Carroll said. “We found that not all produced waters are the same. Water in some areas can have salinity as low as approximately 10 grams per liter, but produced water salinity in some areas can be higher than 350 grams per liter. And seawater average salinity is approximately 35 grams per liter.” Carroll took the lead on studying the produced water geochemistry, which is the chemical composition of water in the Permian Basin formations that is being pumped to the surface. “In addition to salinity variations, we found quite a bit of variability in the type of salts dissolved in the waters,” he said. “We also discovered that a significant amount of water migrated deep into the Basin from the land surface, which enhances our understanding of the water flow behavior in deep subsurface basins like the Permian.” More details about the project can be found at The feasibility study resulted in several accomplishments. “Our biggest accomplishment was establishing a clearer picture on the regulatory framework,” Sabie said. “There are three state agencies in charge of regulating water – the Office of the State Engineer, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Oil Conservation Division. So, we got those agencies together and developed hypothetical use cases for produced water to characterize the ownership, jurisdiction agency for New Mexico, holder of liability, and permitting requirements.” The feasibility study also included researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department. Funding was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency through the New Mexico Environment Department.

20th Annual Stormwater Conference

Please save the date for EPA Region 6's 20th Annual Stormwater Conference, to be held in Albuquerque on August 19-23, 2018. This conference is open to all who are interested in stormwater management, including practitioners under EPA's Construction General Permit, Multi Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges, and entities permitted under EPA's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits. The formal Save the Date invitation can be viewed here: Conference information will be updated as the agenda is finalized. For additional questions about the conference, you may contact Nelly Smith with EPA Region 6 at (214) 665-7109 ( or Denise Hornsby with Texas A&M University-Kingsville at (361) 593-3046 ( Point Source Regulation Section Sarah Holcomb (505) 827-2798