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Tracking solutes and water from subsurface drip irrigation application of coalbed methane–produced waters, Powder River Basin, Wyoming

Environmental Geosciences  

September 2011

Mark A. Engle, Carleton R. Bern, Richard W. Healy, James I. Sams, John W. Zupancic, and Karl T. Schroedercover_EG_journal

ABSTRACT

One method to beneficially use water produced from coalbed methane (CBM) extraction is subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) of croplands. In SDI systems,treated CBM water (injectate) is supplied to the soil at depth, with the purpose of preventing the buildup of detrimental salts near the surface.The technology is expanding within the Powder River Basin, but little research has been published on its environmental impacts. This article reports on initial results from tracking water and solutes from the injected CBM produced waters at an SDI system in Johnson County, Wyoming.