This management contrasts with the San Juan, Uinta, New Mexico portion of the Raton, and the Piceance Basins, where essentially all water produced as a consequence of CBM production is disposed of through reinjection to geological formations deep below drinking water supplies or CBM aquifers. This approach to produced water management is driven by small volumes and high salinities of produced water, regulatory ease and environmental suitability of deep reinjection, and the high costs of treatment to achieve water quality conditions compatible with beneficial use options.

The potential economic, ecological, and environment value or benefits of CBM produced water, either in its present state or following necessary treatment, have not been fully evaluated. Intentionally simplistic calculations of the potential economic value of CBM produced water from the Powder River Basin, based on the past 15 years of reported water production, suggest commercial significance of this produced water for municipal purposes. While the specific dollar value of the water may change with different input parameters, the intrinsic value of the CBM produced water resides in the fact that it can be used and is irreplaceable.


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