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GROUNDWATER EXPLORATION:  A NEW METHOD  

Dr. William M. Turner

In arid lands opportunity commonly lurks beneath the surface where untapped water supplies lie.  Communities in short supply commonly lack the technology to find these supplies of are unwilling to risk the cost of the studies involved.  Therein lies opportunity. 

Take the City of Tucson, for example.  Tucson lies within the Tucson Basin where alluvium from the surrounding mountains was washed into and over an old erosional surface.  We call this the Rillito Surface.  The highest capacity production wells in the Tucson Basin have been drilled into the sediment filling old river channels in the Rillito Surface.  The sediment filling these channels is more highly sorted and cleaner than sediment elsewhere.  The trick is to locate these paleo-channels from the land surface. 

In 1972, AGW Consultants (AGW) personnel proposed to the City of Tucson that they carry out an exploration program using a new geophysical method.  The city fathers told AGW that it was easier to raise money to drill dry holes than carry out studies. 

Subsequently, AGW was employed by Horizon Corporation a prominent Tucson land developer to locate these buried river channels.  At the time, of more than 1,000 water wells in the Tucson Basin only six produced more than 600 gallons per minute.  AGW located a narrow target zone for additional wells near Vail, Arizona.  The first well produced 600 gallons per minute.  Additional wells produced up to 1,000 gallons per minute.  Land that had been worthless desert became extremely valuable.  Today, 20 years later, the developer has yet to use all of the water from the first well.  The City of Tucson has gone on to develop the AGW as its East Tucson Well Field.

The ability to locate water supplies for communities worldwide where others have failed through the use of satellite imagery, sophisticated surface geophysics, aerial photography, and other methods will produce substantial profits.  Water supplies will be guaranteed to communities with cost recovery and royalties being paid for water that is discovered. 

We will enter into agreements with communities to fund exploration and development costs for water in certain geologic settings where the likelihood for success is high.  Clients will include governments, developers, agricultural clients, and extractive and process industries.  Readers may link to case studies at the AGW Consultants site.  The site is restricted and a Username and Password are required.   Go to agwconsultants.com for access.

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