--> Brackish Groundwater: Developing a Valuable Texas Resource

Southwest Section AAPG Annual Convention

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Brackish Groundwater: Developing a Valuable Texas Resource


Brackish groundwater has come to the forefront as a valuable resource in Texas. For the past few years it has been utilized extensively in the Permian Basin for fracing. It is increasingly being tapped by other industries, as well as public water systems, for desalination.

The State of Texas defines brackish groundwater as water having total dissolved solids of 1,000 to 10,000 mg/l. Reserves of groundwater in Texas within this salinity range are estimated to exceed 2 billion acre-feet (∼15.5 trillion barrels). This talk will trace the logging industry's fifty year history of identifying brackish groundwater and review the occurrences of these waters in Texas. Case histories will include utilizing brackish water from the Dockum Aquifer in West Texas for fracing, brackish water in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for drinking water, and brackish water from the Gulf Coast Aquifer for petrochemical plants.