Memo: Mine would draw water from Carlsbad aquifer

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Associated Press

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 11:06 AM

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A state memo says it could take up to 500 years to replenish the brine water pumped out of a Carlsbad aquifer if a new potash mine operates for 50 years.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports (http://goo.gl/1WnRer) that a New Mexico Office of the State Engineer's Hydrology Bureau memo says the Intercontinental Potash's Ochoa Mine Project proposed for southeast of Carlsbad isn't predicted to have any effect on the city's drinking water, but it may still have some impact on the underground water source.

The memo says tests showed that if the mine draws 6,400 acre-feet of water each year at the site for 50 years, it would take 500 years for the Capitan Reef aquifer to restore itself.

The Capitan Reef is the same aquifer that provides Carlsbad's drinking water.

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Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/

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