National lab to study water in San Juan Basin

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FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – Federal land managers are partnering with researchers from Sandia National Laboratories to study how oil and gas development could affect water supplies in northwestern New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.

The Farmington Daily Times reports the study recently started and that similar work has been done in the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico.

Thomas Lowry with Sandia Labs says researchers will monitor water wells in portions of the San Juan Basin that are likely to see increased oil and gas development near them.

He says the team is also partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor two wells in Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Lowry says tests will help show the availability of water and how it’s being used. He anticipates the results will be available in September 2020.

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