Tongue River Water Quality Study

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Geologists at the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) and the University of Wyoming (UW) conducted a one-year water quality investigation to determine if an increase in salinity recorded from water samples collected near the Wyoming/Montana border was the result of coalbed natural gas (CBNG) production in the area.

Preliminary results show that the origin of the elevated salinity is the result of natural seasonal flow from snowmelt and runoff during February and March into the Tongue River and is likely related to the build up of salts in the arid soils of the Powder River Basin as well as from the underlying geology where the river flows.

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