Document Type


Publication Date

January 1980


Maps were made of the Upper Colorado River Basin showing locations of coal deposits, oil and gas, oil shale, uranium, and tar sand, in relationship to cities and towns in the area. Superimposed on these are locations of wells showing four ranges of water quality; 1,000-3,000 mg/l, 3,000-10,000 mg/l, 10,000-35,000 mg/l, and over 35,000 mg/l. Information was assembled relative to future energy-related projects in the upper basin, and estimates were made of their anticipated water needs. Using computer models, various options were tested for using saline water for coal-fired power plant cooling. Both cooling towers and brine evaporation ponds were included. information is presented of several proven water treatment technologies, and comparisons are made of their cost effectiveness when placed in various combinations in the power plant makeup and blowdown water systems. A relative value scale was developed which compares graphically the relative values of water of different salinities based on three different water treatment options and predetermined upper limits of cooling tower circulating salinities. Coal from several different mines was slurried in waters of different salinities. Samples were analyzed in the laboratory to determine which constituents had been leached from or absorbed by the coal, and what possible deleterious effects this might have on the burning properties of the coal, or on the water for culinary use or irrigation.