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Background Information Extraction of CBM requires withdrawal of large amounts of water from coal seams containing methane. Projections call for disposal.

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Presentation on theme: "Background Information Extraction of CBM requires withdrawal of large amounts of water from coal seams containing methane. Projections call for disposal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background Information Extraction of CBM requires withdrawal of large amounts of water from coal seams containing methane. Projections call for disposal or management of one quarter million acre-feet of product water annually in the Powder River Basin. Water quality issue: common signature of CBM product water is salinity x sodicity at varying levels.

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3 MSU CBM Product Water Management Team Research Goals Understand the chemistry, quantity, and distribution of CBM product water in the Powder River Basin. Assess the interaction between surface dispersed CBM product water and soil, water, plants, groundwater and land resources. Conduct research to help define CBM product water management strategies which will ensure sustainability of Montana’s soil, plant, and water resources while allowing for CBM development.

4 Objectives What is saline water? What is sodic water? MSU research on interaction of CMB product water with soil, plants, water, ground water, and land resources Can we manage CBM product water?

5 What is saline water and why is it considered saline? Saline water has a relatively high concentration of dissolved salts. Salinity of water is referred to in terms of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), salinity is estimated by measuring the Electrical Conductivity (EC) of water The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines water with an EC greater than 3.0 dS/m as saline, ~ 1,920 ppm.

6 What is sodic water and why is it considered sodic? The sodicity of water is expressed as the Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) which is: (These values are in meq/L) Sodic water is any water with a SAR greater than 12. Sodic water is not necessarily saline.

7 Generalizations about CBM Product Water Quality Range in TDS of PRB CBM product water is 270-2,730 ppm, average is 740 ppm; median is 838 ppm Drinking water standard is 500 ppm Livestock water standard is 5,000-10,000 ppm SAR range of , median 8.8; threshold = 12 EC (SP) ranges from 10 dS/m across basin; threshold = 3.0 dS/m

8 CBM product water in the Powder River Basin - knowns Trend of increasing sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), electrical conductivity (EC) and total dissolved solids (TDS) progressing north and west through the basin (Rice et al., 2000).

9 Additional knowns Most wells in southern portion are within the irrigation standards; Most wells in the northern section are above the limits for salinity and sodicity (Rice et al., 2002). Soils are generally high in clays and can be saline-sodic.

10 Montana Wyoming North Dakota South Dakota Powder Casper Miles City Forsyth Belle Fourche River North Platte River Tongue Yellowstone River Circle size is Proportional to TDS Number is SAR Figure compliments of John Wheaton, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

11 What are the common difficulties with the use of sodic water for irrigation? Use of sodic water for irrigation can be risky business on soils having significant amounts of swelling clay. On such soils: sodium changes soil physical properties, leading to poor drainage and crusting, which can affect crop growth and yield. Irrigation with sodic water on sandy soils does not cause crusting and poor drainage. However, if the water is saline-sodic, it may affect crop growth and yield.

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15 REDUCED HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY -Shainberg and Letey, 1984

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17 EC/ SAR RELATIONSHIP, INCLUDING SOIL TYPE AND RAINFALL EFFECT - Saskatchewan, 1995

18 Management of Sodic Soils Basic rule – the first thing you need is good drainage - an outlet to which to send the sodium when it is displaced. a source of calcium (already in the soil or as an amendment), and exchange process, a source of water to flush the sodium from the system

19 Management of Saline Soils Saline soil reclamation requires as a minimum: assessment of the problem diagnosis mechanisms for drainage a water supply Leach the soil with enough non-saline water that the salts are moved below the root zone. Adequate drainage is absolutely necessary for this procedure to be successful!

20 Sustainability of crop production in Saline/Sodic Conditions Certain conditions need to be met: the soil being irrigated must be well-drained salt tolerant crops should be the primary crops grown rotations should be planned to provide for a sequence of progressively more salt tolerant crops salts should be leached out of the soil in the spring or winter as the salinity of either the irrigation water or soil solution increases (with prolonged crop water use and through the irrigation season), the volume of irrigation water applied should be progressively increased.

21 Salinity & Sodicity Tolerance of Selected Plant Species of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation Nikos Warrence – M.S. Candidate

22 Tolerance and/or sensitivity of selected plants on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to salinity, sodicity, and flooding Understand how native and culturally significant plants would respond to increases in salinity and sodicity. A list of native and culturally significant plant species was obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection, Northern Cheyenne Tribe. A thorough search of references dealing with salinity and sodicity tolerances for the plants in question was then completed.

23 Tolerance and/or sensitivity of culturally significant plant species on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to salinity, sodicity, and flooding - Sensitive (EC < 2 dS/m, SAR June/Service Berry Red Osier Dogwood Red Shoot Goose Berry Chokecherry Wild Plum Quaking Aspen Leafy Aster Red Raspberry Moderately Sensitive (EC 2-4 dS/m, SAR <8) Common Spikerush Field Horsetail Horsemint Sweet Medicine Sandbar Willow Snowberry Cattail Sweet Grass Saw Beak Sedge Stinging Nettle Western Yarrow

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25 Water Quantity and Quality Will Dictate Water Management Options Discharge to surface streams Ephemeral v. perennial Loosing v. gaining Surface discharge, spreading, irrigation Discharge to impoundments Evaporation v. infiltration Long term recharge v. abandonment Re-Injection – shallow v. deep

26 Options for Beneficial Use Livestock – watering, dispersals, enhancement of forage utilization- ??? Fish and wildlife –flow augmentation and salinity modification-quality dependent Industrial – dust, fire, extraction, new uses Irrigation and added rainfall effects-??? Aquifer recharge, water storage ??? Recreation ??? Augmentation of domestic supplies – wells

27 Saline and sodic conditions promote new plant communities Typically, encroachment by saline and sodic water promotes development of salt-tolerant, halophytic communities Commonly occurring species include: Prairie cordgrassCattail Baltic rushesAmerican bullrush Salt cedarAlkali grass

28 Native, establishment, survivor plants first appearing in areas exposed to saline-sodic water With addition of saline-sodic water these plants will invade/occupy moist to wet zones of the channel bank Inland saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) Prairie and alkali cordgrass (Spatina pectinata/gracilis) Baltic rush (Juncus balticus) Nuttalls alkaligrass (Pucinellia nuttalliana – not very competitive, colonizer) Foxtail barley (Hordium jubatum – not very competitive, colonizer)

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30 Plants that will occupy dry/moist transition areas when exposed to CBM product water Canada wildrye – Elymus Canadensis Slender wheatgrass/inland saltgrass – Elymus trachycaulus Western wheatgrass – Pascopyrum smithii Tall wheatgrass – Thinopyrum ponticum Timothy, meadow foxtail, bromegrass Pers. Comm: Q. Skinner, UWyoming

31 Options for salt-tolerant species Amshot grassHay barley Atriplex speciesSunflower Sudan grassUpland rice Seacoast barleyMaritime barley Sharp-leaved rushSamaar moor rush Helalia et al., 1990

32 Effects of surface irrigation water quality and water table position on the ability of selected plant species to remove salts and sodium Shannon D. Phelps, Graduate Student M.S. in Land Rehabilitation Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. Montana State University, Bozeman. Dec. 2002

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34 Species selection Selection criteria Documented capability as a perennial source of livestock forage Documented halophytic characteristics Species Wytana saltbush (Atriplex wytana.), extremely salt tolerant shrub naturally occurring in Montana, Washington, and Wyoming (Mackie et al., 2001) Big saltbrush (Atriplex lentiformis), moderately salt tolerant, native shrub known for high productivity and quality forage potential (Watson et al., 1987) Maritime Barley (Hordeum marinium), salt tolerant, flood tolerant species found in coastal environments reported to provide high nutritional value (Redman and Fedec, 1987) Planting Direct seed 30 per column

35 Average dry biomass of Atriplex wytana,Atriplex lentiformis, and Hordeum marinium over three harvests irrigated with control and treatment water quality (average across all water table positions; no drainage)

36 Average biomass production over three successive harvests for columns maintained at three separate water table positions. Water table positions are maintained at 114, 76, and 38cm below soil surface

37 Cumulative salt content reported as grams of total salts (Ca, Mg, Na) per gram of dry matter irrigated with treatment and control water averaged over three water table positions and three harvests for Atriplex wytana, Atriplex lentiformis, and Hordeum marinium.

38 SAR of shallow groundwater over a 32-week period of irrigation of Atriplex wytana(no drainage, average of all water table positions) Bold horizontal lines at SAR=3.5 and SAR=10.5 correspond to applied water SAR

39 EC of shallow groundwater over a 32-week period of irrigation of Atriplex wytana(no drainage, average of all water table positions) Bold horizontal lines at EC=1.9dS/m and EC=3.5dS/m correspond to applied water EC.

40 SAR of shallow groundwater over a 32-week period of irrigation of Hordeum marinium(no drainage, average of all water table positions) Bold horizontal lines at SAR=3.5and SAR=10.5 correspond to applied water SAR

41 EC of shallow groundwater over a 32-week period of irrigation of Hordeum marinium(no drainage, average of all water table positions) Bold horizontal lines at EC=1.9dS/m and EC=3.5dS/m correspond to applied water EC

42 Summary Sustainable CBM product water management requires rigorous monitoring and coordinated management Essential requirements – Soil, water, and plant baseline information Amount and quality of CBM product water Rigorous monitoring at all points Coordinated water management with multiple strategies

43 A Strategy for CBM product water management Key elements to CBM product water management Watershed based water management Surface and ground water in concert Maximize beneficial uses – infrequent water spreading Maximize plant consumptive use – reducing water volumes with wetlands Minimize deep drainage

44 MSU CBM product water management group Shannon Phelps – M.S. graduated Nikos Warrence – M.S. pending Meg Buchanan – Jon Wraith Melissa Mitchem – Doug Dollhopf Holly Sessoms – M.S. candidate Amber Kirkpatrick – M.S. candidate Jason Drake – B.S. – Field/Greenhouse Technician

45 Allison Levy – B.S. Candidate Natalie McGowan – B.S. Candidate Keri Garver – Ph.D. Candidate Kim Hershberger – M.S. Res. Assoc. Krista Pearson – B.S. – Proj. Assist. – Tech Transfer Suzanna Roffe – B.S. – Proj. Assist. - Education Kristin Keith – M.S. – Associate – Outreach/Education Bernie Schaff – M.S. – Proj. Assist.-Field Operations

46 Subcontracts – Drake Engineering, Helena – Product water treatment plant Suzanne Mickelson – Dept. Plant Sciences – forage barley genetics/enhancement Susan Capalbo – pending – Economics of CBM development

47 Funding Sources - U.S. Department of Energy in conjunction with Bureau of Land Management Montana Board of Commercialization and Technology Transfer U.S.D.A. – Federal Extension Service U.S.D.A. – C.S.R.E.E.S. Regional Water Quality program – Northern Great Plains and Mountains Northern Cheyenne Tribe Prairie County Conservation District U.S.D.I. – Bureau of Reclamation & Buffalo Rapids Irrigation District

48 MSU Water Quality Web Site


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