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Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

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Source: therevelator.org

New analysis reveals that we have much less water in our aquifers than we previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put that at even greater risk.

by Tara Lohan

We’re living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That’s probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the United States, we may have much less water than previously thought.

“We found that the average depth of water resources across the country was about half of what people had previously estimated,” says Jennifer McIntosh, a distinguished scholar and professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

McIntosh and her colleagues — who published a new study about these aquifers in November in Environmental Research Letters — took a different approach to assessing groundwater than other research, which has used satellites to measure changes in groundwater storage. For example, a 2015 study looked at 37 major aquifers across the world and found some were being depleted faster than they were being replenished, including in California’s agriculturally intensive Central Valley.

McIntosh says those previous studies revealed a lot about how we’re depleting water resources from the top down through extraction, such as pumping for agriculture and water supplies, especially in places like California.

But McIntosh and three other researchers wanted to look at groundwater from a different perspective: They examined how we’re using water resources from the bottom up. More

Pick Your Poison: The Fracking Industry’s Wastewater Injection Well Problem

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Source:  desmogblog.com

“The closer a company injects fracking wastewater (and all the salts and pollutants that may come with it) to aquifers supplying freshwater for drinking and agriculture, the more likely those aquifers will be contaminated. In the recent University of Texas paper, researchers call out this increased likelihood in the country’s highest producing shale play, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.”

by Justin Mikulka

The first known oil well in Oklahoma happened by accident. It was 1859 and Lewis Ross was actually drilling for saltwater(brine), not oil. Brine was highly valued at the time for the salt that could be used to preserve meat. As Ross drilled deeper for brine, he hit oil. And people have been drilling for oil in Oklahoma ever since.

Lewis Ross might find today’s drilling landscape in the Sooner State somewhat ironic. The oil and gas industry, which has surging production due to horizontal drilling and fracking, is pumping out huge volumes of oil but even more brine. So much brine, in fact, that the fracking industry needs a way to dispose of the brine, or “produced water,” that comes out of oil and gas wells because it isn’t suitable for curing meats. In addition to salts, these wastewaters can contain naturally occurring radioactive elements and heavy metals.

But the industry’s preferred approaches for disposing of fracking wastewater — pumping it underground in either deep or shallow injection wells for long-term storage — both come with serious risks for nearby communities.

In Oklahoma, drillers primarily use deep injection wells for storing their wastewater from fracked shale wells, and while the state was producing the same amount of oil in 1985 as in 2015, something else has changed. The rise of the fracking industry in the central U.S. has coincided with a rise in earthquake activity.

From 1975 to 2008, Oklahoma averaged from one to three earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater a year. But by 2014, the state averaged 1.6 of these earthquakes a dayIt now has a website that tracks them in real time.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Inconvenient Truths About This Year’s Duluth Air Show: Squandering the Planet’s Increasingly Scarce Fossil Fuels for our Amusement

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Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – July 7, 2018

 

“Knowledge is power; but who hath duly Considered the power of Ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down. Knowledge, through patient and frugal centuries, enlarges discovery and makes record of it; Ignorance, wanting its day’s dinner, lights a fire with the record, and gives a flavor to its one roast with the burned souls of many generations.” — George Eliot, from the author’s last novel, Daniel Deronda

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The Big Oil cartels have, for decades, been poisoning the air, the aquifers, the rivers, the lakes the air, the soil and the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf and every ocean and ocean floor on the planet with uncounted millions of gallons of toxic crude oil via their risky – and very leaky – deep water oil wells. It wasn’t just the crime against the planet that British Petroleum and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton perpetrated in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. There are many other entities that have contributed to the mortal wounding of the Gulf, and one of the big ones is the US military.

A prime example of the damage done to the Gulf by corporate entities includes the Mississippi River delta’s massive dead zone that has been enlarging rapidly for decades, thanks to the many corporate polluters that have been dumping industrial waste, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, prescription drugs and other toxins into surface water streams and rivers (and aquifers also) to flow downstream from such professedly “environmentally friendly” states like Minnesota and its multitude of Big Oil, Big Chemical and Big Agribusiness-co-opted (or duped) farmers. Big Businesses like those meet the definition of sociopaths and therefore must be recognized as conscienceless.

There are hundreds of enlarging dead zones at the mouths of all of the world’s major rivers, but much of the pollution that caused the huge dead zone at the Mississippi River’s mouth started in the Upper Midwest’s farmlands. Especially guilty were the corporate-controlled mega-farms that routinely over-used synthetic herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides on the crops and soil. (See www.geoengineeringwatch.org for more details.)

As I was growing up, I often fished in the upper Minnesota River. Just during my adolescent years, I witnessed the beginnings of the pollution of that river because of farm chemical runoff. I saw the river go from swimmable and fishable to muddy, smelly, toxic and relatively fishless. More

Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, to talk about mining contamination of U.S. waters, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/21/17)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 21, 2017 More

Clean Water Action’s Keith Nakatani & Matt Davis on fracking wastewater being used for crop irrigation, aquifer “exemptions” and more, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 11/30/16)

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Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

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Debbie Coffey

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Before we get to our featured article below, it is important to note that the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros because of “drought,” or because there’s “not enough” forage and water.  We know there is a “man-made” drought because of the huge amount of water used by mining and other extractive industries.  Advocates need to be aware of all of the issues surrounding big users of water from our aquifers.   I’ve listed a few sources regarding California’s dire drought below, but there are similarities in other states and areas.

A recent Los Angeles Times editorial by the hydrologist Jay Famiglietti starkly warned: “California has about one year of water left.”

Sonali Kolhatkar recently wrote an article “To Solve California’s Water Crisis, We Must Change the Nation’s Food System.”  Residential use of water in California is about 4% and agricultural use is 80%.

Kolhatkar states:  “The truth is that California’s Central Valley, which is where the vast majority of the state’s farming businesses are located, is a desert. That desert is irrigated with enough precious water to artificially sustain the growing of one-third of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, a $40 billion industry.   Think about it. A third of all produce in the United States is grown in a desert in a state that has almost no water left.”

Kolhatkar also states “When water allocations from the federal government were cut, Central Valley farmers began drilling deep into the ground to pump water out of the state’s precious, ancient aquifer. Now, the pumping has gotten so out of control that water is being tapped faster than it can be replenished by rain or snowfall, leading to some parts of the land literally sinking. What’s worse, California’s farmers are irrigating their lands with water from a 20,000-year-old reserve, depleting and probably permanently damaging a reservoir that formed in the Pleistocene epoch.

Shockingly, until recently, California did not even regulate groundwater use, unlike states like Texas. Anyone could drill a well on their property and simply take as much water as they needed for their own use—a practice that dated back to the Gold Rush.”

The New York Times also recently ran a big article on the drought.  You can read it HERE.

Hopefully the links to articles above and the article below will give you some information on a few (of the many) issues with water and what is happening with our aquifers.  The wild horses and burros are “the canary in the coal mine.”   –  Debbie Coffey


Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

SOURCE:  mintpressnews.com

Nestlé is draining California aquifers, from Sacramento alone taking 80 million gallons annually.  Nestlé then sells the people’s water back to them at great profit under many dozen brand names.”

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Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers

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strip bannernew-logo25 Debbie Coffey   V.P. Wild Horse Freedom Federation

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I repeat, wild horses being driven to extinction by the BLM is the canary in the coal mine of what is happening on America’s public lands and to America’s water.  –  Debbie Coffey

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 Texan Cowboy Man Seated Backwards on a Steer, The Reins Tied to the Tail Clipart

SOURCE:  nbcbayarea.com

In a time when California faces an historic drought, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has uncovered that state officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump billions of gallons of waste water into protected aquifers. Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock reports in a story that aired on November 14, 2014.

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.

Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.

“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”

California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”

“There have been past issues where permits were issued to operators that they shouldn’t be injecting into those zones and so we’re fixing that,” Marshall added.

In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of. More

Last Week To Address the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

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On Friday, the latest version of The Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection was posted at http://www.flsenate.gov along with an analysis of the bill.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the entire Senate on Wednesday, April 30.

While much improved, the bill continues to put property owners in a very vulnerable position. Following is the CPR Bill Analysis:

The Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

Analysis of CS/CS/CS/SB 1576

Introduction

The issue of protecting and preserving water in Florida must be addressed on two levels: water quantity and water quality. This bill addresses one of those issues: water quality.

The best vehicle for addresses the water quality issue is the Department of Environmental Protection’s Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) process. It allows local stakeholders to address any and all potential pollution sources and remediate them in a site-specific manner. Only a lack of funding limits its speed and progress.

Problems with CS/CS/CS/SB 1576

After substantial, last minute changes in last Wednesday’s Senate Appropriations Committee, this bill still has the following problems which renders it ineffective in achieving springs and aquifer protection. More

Open letter to the BLM: (HEE HAW!)

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Debbie Coffey (c) copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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December 27, 2011

To: Mr. Thomas Seley, Field Manager 

We're watching you!

Tonopah Field Office

1553 S. Main Street

Tonopah,NV89049

 RE: Comment on the Bullfrog HMA wild burro gather 

Dear Mr. Seley:

I urge you to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE to the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Bullfrog HMA wild burro gather (DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2011-0102-EA). 

This EA states BLM is proposing to remove an “excess” 53-86 burros and leave only 70 burros on a 151,782 acre Herd Management Area (which is PRIMARILY for use by the wild horses and burros).  More

Is a mining company giving the shaft to farmers and ranchers?

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Debbie Coffey  Copyright 2011  All Rights Reserved.

                   Investigative Journalist/PPJ

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 “The farmers and ranchers know they won’t be able to truly tell, until the passage of time, if there  IS interconnectivity between the valleys.  If there is interconnectivity, it will be too late to stop what could be disastrous effects on their farms and ranches. “

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Part 3

Mining companies are buying up ranches left and right, just to get the water rights.  Then all they have to do is get a permit to change the use from irrigation to mining.  Once appropriated, the water rights are not available for any other development, even if the mine never opens, unless the mine is willing to sell the water rights. 

At a Nevada Division of Water Resources hearing in December, 2010, an admirable group of Nevada farmers and ranchers, who’ve had water rights in their families for generations, protested the appropriation of water rights of Kobeh Valley Ranch, owned by mining company General Moly.  General Moly wants to change the use of water rights on Kobeh Valley Ranch from irrigation to mining for their Mt.Hope mine.  This is in addition to other water rights General Moly has already purchased from other farms surrounding the valley.

To give you some background, General Moly is 25% owned by Hanlong USA Mining, a  subsidiary of Sichuan Hanlong Group, a Chinese “private enterprise.”  Sichuan Hanlong Group recently received a $1.5 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank ofChina (China Eximbank) to support its investments in overseas mining opportunities, with $745 million towards General Moly.  The Export-Import Bank of China is fully owned by the Chinese government and under the leadership of the State Council.  It’s a “government policy bank.”

BlackRock Trust Company, which is associated with billionaire George Soros, seems to be the 2nd top owner of shares in General Moly.  BlackRock Trust is also the 5th top owner of shares in agricultural company Monsanto. More

The BLM’s big “fire sale” of our land

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 Debbie Coffey (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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 A Six-Point Plan to Avert a Global Crisis” and the 2010 National Geographic’s special issue cover story was “WATER: Our Thirsty World.”   Would it be too much to hope that Dept. of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or BLM Director Bob Abbey might have read these and consider water issues?  (Oh wait a sec, the Gulf Oil Spill happened under their watchful eyes.)  Or that as leaders of U.S. land management agencies, they’d be concerned with vanishing supplies of uncontaminated water? 

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is selling YOUR land right out from under you.  Concurrently, the BLM is blitzing the media with PR spin to justify removing all of our publicly owned wild horses off of our public lands.  If you want to see what has really been happening to our wild horses at recent roundups, go to http://blog.grassrootshorse.com/

Do you know how many acres of your public lands are being sold off in each state?  This is a policy being pushed by your President, your Congress, Ken Salazar (Secretary of the Dept. of the Interior) and Bob Abbey (BLM Director).  Your state and local governments have their hands out to receive part of the profits.  Your “public agencies” (like the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management) are actually corporations and their priority is to make money. 

Each BLM office is required to have quarterly “lease sales” of your public lands.  The BLM is making their money off of you and the remains of your United States of America. 

To keep this simple, we’ll just look at one state’s lease/sales of our public lands to oil and gas companies.

Wyoming, as it turns out, is going gung ho on oil and gas “leasing.”  The BLM calls giving the use of our public lands to extractive industries for as little as $2 an acre a “lease sale.”  These are 10 year leases and they can be renewed.  Oil and gas companies can ask for certain parcels of public property to be leased. 

However, unless you’ve ever heard of an oil pipeline being ripped out after it was installed, I’d call this a “permanent” use of our public lands.   An oil or gas (or mining) company will extract all of the oil/gas/ore.  They often contaminate water, land and air.  They use a LOT of our water from aquifers in their extracting process.  More

Chinese government money is buying one of U.S.A.’s biggest mines

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Debbie Coffey Copyright 2010     All Rights Reserved

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This small group of our farmers and ranchers didn’t sell out for money offered.  They’re standing strong.  They use words like “community” and “our future” when talking about this issue.  If you’d like to support them:

Attend a meeting on Dec. 9 and 10, 2010 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Nevada Dept. of Water Resources, 901 S. Stewart Street, room #2002, Carson City, NV 89701

“It’s ironic that this mining deal involves the words hope and liberty, because what this really represents is that we are losing both for our country.  You can see it on the faces of the farmers and ranchers at this meeting.” More

Water rights, rainwater, water contracts and the corrupt Bureau of Land Management

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Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

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A recent article about state governments seizing the rights to rain water off your roof, elicited a comment that almost sounded like it was relevant; until you examined the actual available data.  Because the of the convoluted logic used to make the arguments in this commentary, we felt it necessary to dispel misconceptions many people operate under when it comes to the issue of water rights.  This comment, crafted to look as though the government both state and federal is …..only trying to protect the rights of land owners….is a PR piece; gee….I wonder where this came from? 

C=Comment

A=Answer

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C.  First, in the western states, water rights are held for the beneficial use by the public and apportioned for use by seniority.

A. At one time this was true, but reinterpretation by the BLM of “public use”, “adequate use” and “beneficial use” have rendered seniority use as a part of property rights, null and void.  This means you have no water rights to speak of; apportioned use is not even a consideration.  Profit is all that matters and many states no longer recognize water rights as belonging to individual land regardless of what the previous statutes and laws were.

Because water is now declared by BLM to be a salable commodity, every effort is made to contract the allocated rights to water, to private corporations for use in strip mining, geo-thermal activities, and for sale to private corporations for diversions to far away places!

These private sellers have first rights to their allocation of water before any water is released to the “public”. On public lands either owned or controlled by the BLM, ALL waters existing above or below the surface belong to and are controlled by the BLM.  They could give a crap if you have water or you don’t.  More

Senator Harry Reid is working hard – but for whom?

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By Debbie Coffey 

Copyright 2010   All Rights Reserved. 

“Scientists warned that as the Great Basin’s groundwater is drained, desert springs and seeps will dry up, farms and ranches will wither away, and plants and wildlife will die off.  The aquifer, which took millennia to fill, will run out.”

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If you read the article “The Mining of Our Aquifers” you may have wondered how the Mining Law of 1872 could be the most current law to regulate the mining industry and its disastrous effects on our aquifers and land. 

According to the article “Harry Reid, Gold Member: Is our Senator in bed with America’s worst polluter?” by Josh Harkinson, “Reid has been instrumental in blocking efforts to reform the archaic General Mining Law of 1872, a legal blank check that has allowed miners to take an estimated $408 billion worth of gold and other hard rock minerals from public lands without paying a single cent in royalties – ever.  More

Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water

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(NaturalNews) Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else.

As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.

Check out this:

a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.
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THE MINING OF OUR AQUIFERS

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By Debbie Coffey       Copyright 2010   All Rights Reserved.

“Meanwhile, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is rounding up our wild horses with a vengeance because there’s “not enough water for them to drink.”  (A horse only drinks about 10-15 gallons of water a day.)  It seems that DOI Secretary Ken Salazar has spent all of his time envisioning the “new direction” with his Wild Horse and Burro Initiative, which will take our wild horses off their federally protected lands and use taxpayer money to put them on preserves.”

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Just one mine in Nevada (Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike Mine) has pumped over 383 BILLION gallons of water from an aquifer.  (and that was a 2005 statistic, so it’s much more than that by now)  According to a New York Times article by Kirk Johnson, nearly 10 million gallons of water a day is draining away from the driest state in the nation. More

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