Monday, September 25, 2006

119 million liters of water from Red Deer River

Ferus Gas Industries of Calgary received a preliminary water licence for 119 million liters of water per year. This water is to be taken from the Red Deer River for the purpose of building a plant for nitrogen extraction to be used in the oil industry.

This project(go to other stories -Water licence granted to plant ) is moving ahead in a civilized manner. Ferus has avoided the knee jerk reaction of going to the water aquifer for their water. For that they should be commended.

Conversations of not much and moderated use drew my attention.

119 million liters of water is the same as 997,983 bbls of water.
119 million liters of water is 119,000 cubic meters of water.
119 million liters of water will cover a football field 14.5 meters deep.

The flow of the Red River is 25.5 cubic meters per second. It will take 78 minutes for119 million liters of water to flow past any one point on the Red River! How often have you spent an hour watching the river?

The same people say it is not much more water than it takes to grow alfalfa. This is a major understatement. Thanks to the folks at Alberta Connects, Alfalfa needs between 550 and 650 mm of water in the growing season. That would be 2' deep spread over an acre. A football field is close to 2 acres for reference. That would cover the football field to a depth of 48'

Hardly and apples to apples comparison.

It seems to me Ferus Gas could install a condenser in their plant and a build a nice looking recovery pond, possibly reducing their water use by 80% ! Perhaps, plant a tree?

The city of Red Deer is counting on much of the water being pumped off during the flood season. This would be nice if it were true but, this would entail a lake being built the size of a football field with 3 story tall sides surrounding it. To dig such a lake would cut into the water aquifer.

The bottom line is that industry will need water to grow.

I find it distressing that the oil industry claims more fresh water than we do in our homes and, they get it free.

If they did pay for it, we would give them the money back by way of the royalty schedule that is in place.

John Clark
cyberclark@shaw.ca.
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