Water and Energy Conflicts Discussed at Colorado State’s Produced Waters Workshop April 4-5

Colorado State University will host a Produced Waters Workshop April 4-5 at the Marriott Hotel in Fort Collins. The event aims to stimulate dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that revolve around produced water in the West and the possibility of converting water produced during oil and gas extraction to beneficial use.

Produced water is water brought to the surface during energy extraction and is often not suitable for irrigation, drinking or other beneficial use. The water is re-injected back into the subsurface at a cost to energy companies.

     "The current Western land conflict is between those who own mineral rights and those who own surface rights," said Robert Ward, professor emeritus of civil engineering at Colorado State and the director emeritus of both Colorado State’s Water Center and the university’s Colorado Water Resources Research Institute.  "The workshop will explore the technical, legal and economic issues of treating produced waters to the point where the water can be used on the surface, thus enhancing local water supplies."

Mark Limbaugh, assistant secretary for Water and Science in Department of Interior, will give the keynote address. His discussion will focus on the federal government’s role and the need for agency coordination in managing this potential resource.

The workshop will also address the opportunities for local land owners to benefit from enhanced water supplies for little or no extra cost to energy companies and ultimately aim to reduce the tension between the mineral and surface owners.

     During the workshop, an optional tour of a local produced water treatment facility will available to participants on April 6. Registration is required for the tour.

The Produced Waters Workshop is presented by Colorado State University, Bureau of Reclamation, Family Farm Alliance, National Institutes for Water Resources, Ruckelshaus Institute of Environmental and Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey.

     To register online or to received additional information and a complete workshop schedule, visit the Web at www.cwrri.colostate.edu.