Thomas sponsors produced water bill
by Senator Thomas press release
April 19, 2007
U.S. Senator Craig Thomas yesterday joined several western Senate members
in introducing the “More Water, More Energy, Less Waste Act of 2007,” which
will initiate a feasibility study with the goal of treating and reducing
"produced water" and establish a grant program to demonstrate technologies
capable of achieving those goals.
“This effort is a win-win situation because it takes water from energy
production and makes it useful for folks who need it most,” Thomas said. “I
was pleased to include provisions aimed at improving the efficiency of water
use for energy production, in addition to the treatment of water, in this bill.”
Across the West, "useable" water is one of the most valuable natural
resources, and also one of the scarcest. Each day, more than two million
gallons of useable groundwater are wasted, disposed of as "produced water,"
after being brought to the surface during oil and gas drilling or coal bed
methane extraction. Currently, there are obstacles to the beneficial use of this
water. This legislation seeks to reduce those obstacles.
The bill was introduced by Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), and cosponsored by
Thomas, Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and
Senate Energy Committee Ranking Member Pete Domenici (R-NM). It is the
Senate companion to H.R. 902 which passed unanimously in the U.S. House
of Representatives on March 19, 2007.
The study provision of the bill directs the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S.
Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Land Management to evaluate the
reducing the amount of water that is produced during energy extraction in
order to increase the efficiency of energy production. Additionally, the study
will evaluate recovery and cleaning of "produced water" for use in irrigation
and other purposes.
The grant program authorized by the bill provides a maximum 50 percent
federal match of up to $1 million for facilities, technologies and processes
capable of reducing produced water or treating it for beneficial use. In order
to develop these systems across a variety of geological and climatic
conditions, the grant portion of S. 1116 requires test projects be built in at
least five locations:
One in each of the Upper Basin states of the Colorado River: Colorado, Utah ,
Wyoming and New Mexico; and,
One in at least one of the Lower Basin states of the Colorado River: Arizona,
Nevada or California.
The quality and volume of the recovered "produced water" will depend upon
the technology to be tested under S. 1116.