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Open-File Report 2004-1197—ONLINE ONLY

Review of Knowledge on the Occurrence, Chemical Composition, and Potential Use for Desalination of Saline Ground Water in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas with a Discussion of Potential Future Study Needs

By G.F. Huff

Increasing demand on the limited supplies of freshwater in the desert Southwest, as well as other parts of the United States, has increased the level of interest in saline-water resources. Saline ground water has long been recognized as a potentially important contributor to water supply in the Southwest, as demonstrated by the number of hydrologic, geologic, and engineering studies on the distribution of saline water and the feasibility of desalination.

Potential future study needs include investigating and documenting the three-dimensional distribution of salinity and chemical composition of saline-water resources and the hydraulic properties of aquifers containing these saline-water resources, assessing the chemical suitability of saline water for use with existing and anticipated desalination technologies, simulating the effect of withdrawal of saline ground water on water levels and water composition in saline and adjoining or overlying freshwater aquifers, and determining the suitability of target geologic formations for injection of desalination-generated waste.


      Purpose and scope
New Mexico
Future needs
References cited

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For more information about USGS activities in New Mexico contact:

District Chief
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Discipline
5338 Montgomery Blvd, NE
Suite 400
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109
Telephone: (505) 830-7900
Fax: (505) 830-7998

or access the USGS Water Resources of New Mexico home page at:

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