EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico State University, in collaboration with the New Mexico Environment Department, is home to the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium.
Established in 2019 to support NMED’s implementation of the Produced Water Act, the consortium is a trans-disciplinary public-private partnership composed of academia, state and federal agencies, national laboratories, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
Recently, the consortium published the Research Plan and Gap Analysis for Produced Water Reuse in New Mexico. Program Director Mike Hightower, Associate Director, Research and Technology, Pei Xu, and Fellows Jeri Sullivan Graham and Deborah Dixon wrote the plan to address the technical, economic and health and safety risks of fit-for-purpose reuse.
Consortium members and the consortium’s Government Advisory Board provided valuable input throughout development of the plan.
The consortium conducts scientifically-based research to support and foster regional sustainability, which allows New Mexico to lead the country in advancing scientific and technological solutions related to the reuse of produced water.
“Since enactment of the Produced Water Act in 2019, New Mexico has made huge strides in reducing freshwater use in oil and gas production,” stated Rebecca Roose, deputy cabinet secretary at the New Mexico Environment Department.
“Meanwhile, New Mexico is also on the leading edge of regional and national research into complex questions surrounding the treatment and reuse of produced water to increase drought resiliency while protecting public health and our precious natural resources. The research plan released by the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium clearly demonstrates how critical these scientific research and technological advancements are in order to ensure policy and regulations in New Mexico are innovative and science-based.”
Topics covered in the research plan include improved produced water quantity and quality sampling, analysis and data access; produced water pre-treatment/treatment costs, performance testing and analysis; toxicity testing standards development and risk analysis; socioeconomic, environmental and ecological cost/benefit analysis; health and safety compliance monitoring for fit-for-purpose applications; regulatory agency cooperation and collaboration; water and energy infrastructure planning and development; and public education and outreach.