12:15pm

Sun January 27, 2013
Environment

Douglas County Open Space To See Aquifer Drilling

Map of the Colorado Plateaus Aquifer that covers an area of approximately 110,00 square miles in the Western U.S.
Credit United States Geological Service

The plan to draw drinking water from deep beneath the earth’s surface is based on a traditional premise - that water from far underground is uncontaminated.

ProPublica has reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued more than 1,500 permits allowing companies to pollute aquifers in some of the nation’s driest regions. Frequently, the reason was that the water lies too deep to be worth protecting.

In one of the permits, American regulators allowed a Wyoming uranium mine to inject more than 200,000 gallons of radioactive waste daily into a deep ground aquifer.

In Colorado, proposed new housing developments along the Front Range face water constraints as developers are pushed by local governments to show they have enough water for their proposed residents, causing them to look to the only available water resource yet untapped.

The Colorado project could pump enough water from underground aquifers to serve 100,000 more people. Permanent facilities including pump stations are being installed at the two test wells drilled in Douglas County-owned open space between Denver and Colorado Springs.