In 2016, the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute teamed up with communities, researchers, agencies, and industry to complete a project focused on the potential reuse of produced water. The purpose of this Project was for the NM WRRI to provide public water systems and communities in Lea and Eddy counties information that could potentially improve the sustainability of water supplies by understanding the available volumes of water produced during oil and gas extraction, commonly referred to as produced water, as a source of water to offset use of freshwater. In locations such as southeastern New Mexico, water users are heavily dependent on aquifers with low to insignificant recharge rates. In these locations, expanding the use of produced water offers the possibility of reducing demand for freshwater and reducing aquifer depletion rates, thereby improving water supply sustainability and protection of potable water sources.
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