The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has petitioned the state’s Water Quality Control Commission to adopt a new proposed rule that seeks to protect the state’s groundwater and surface water while encouraging innovative water reuse and resiliency. The proposed rule sets a framework for future water reuse rules while focusing on regulating reuse of produced water from the oil and gas industry. The rule outlines how produced water can be used while preventing discharge to the state’s groundwater and surface water.
According to New Mexico, the second largest oil producing state in the U.S., using treated wastewater from fracking to meet some industrial and agricultural needs will likely diminish demands on freshwater aquifers.
This is the first of several upcoming rules intended to guide the future of water reuse in New Mexico and is an outcome of the state’s 2019 Produced Water Act.