Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Underground Water Storage

    This article discusses the building of underground reservoirs to combat the difficulties associated with aboveground water storage.
    Advantages listed with underground storage are firstly cost related; underground reservoir technology proves to be cheaper. Countries already using under-ground reservoir technology include the United States, others such as Belgium and Netherlands already developed “storage systems in sand dunes” (Galbraith, 2013). The process of an “aquifer storage system” is firstly injecting water into an aquifer, store it, and then when needed, recover for disinfection and subsequent use (Galbraith, 2013). Other advantages include having a larger “subsurface” without a need to “build walls” and elimination of inefficient use of “acres of cropland” (Galbraith, 2013).
    Disadvantages are still there. Florida where the technology has been in use for a while faced an early struggle of “arsenic in the water”. There is also fitting the “aquifers with the technology” and occasional clogging of wells. Legal issues included are for example the “rule of capture” in Texas where anyone has the right to recover water that is under their land. The article identifies “Education” as the main reason for not much use of the technology. Utilities are unaware that this system has been tested and is ready to be used. People are still being “risk-averse” (Galbraith, 2013)
    Galbraith was very informative on the advantages however did not really expand enough on disadvantages. She mentions how not every “aquifer is suited to the technology” however doesn’t go deeper into discussing what is being done about this. Also, “education” was rightly identified, however who exactly should this responsibility fall on is left unanswered. What type of role should government play in this and why is it that the obviously cheaper option doesn’t seem to be used more? I believe this technology would be beneficial to the Middle East just as this article discusses.
--Zeitun Tifow

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