Oklahoma Citizens Concerned About Aquifer Use - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma Citizens Concerned About Aquifer Use

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MILL CREEK, OK--Water-and how much of it is being used-is a concern for some Oklahoma citizens. An organization is trying to limit the water being pumped from an Oklahoma aquifer. 

The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer--which fills the Blue River--is the water source for many Oklahoma cities including Durant, Ardmore, Ada and Tishomingo. 

One group says that unless the state regulates how much mining companies can use, the water could dry up.

A mining company wants to drill for rocks--but if they dig into the ground, they may get more than what they're looking for.

"The problem is that the amount of water that flows into those pits is damaging the aquifer," Amy Ford said, from the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer.

Arbuckle Aggregates--based in Frisco, Texas--is just like many other mining companies in this area, are looking for this--aggregates that can be used for roads and gravel. 

The Arbuckle Aggregate Company is looking for a permit to mine--but the citizens for the protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer say that the company is also asking for unlimited water access. They want the state of Oklahoma to regulate how much water can be used. 

"It's the unregulated pit water is where our major concern is right now," Ford said.

When mining, excess water is something that is naturally released.

"We don't really know how much they actually use in their operation," Shanon Shirley said, from the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer, "We know there's a lot of excess because we see it laying on the ground, filling up pits all around here, they're pumping into creeks, they're dumping it on the ground."

"Having a massive, unregulated taking of that water--the ramifications are huge, and the consequences could be detrimental to all citizens in this part of the state," Ford said.

Many are worried because the replenishing rate for the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer is 4 percent, meaning that only 4 percent of rain water makes it back to the aquifer.

Arbuckle Aggregates were contacted but could not be reached today.

"It takes forever to get down to where it needs to be, and these guys are just pulling it out as fast as they can," Shirley said. 

Until then, the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer are planning on an open meeting to discuss the possible dangers of using too much water.

The Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer have collected dozens of petitions protesting Arbuckle Aggregate's mining application. 

The organization will hold an open forum for the community in the near future.

Jen French, KTEN News

 

Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer http://www.cpasa.net/