Not only does Summit Carbon Solutions want to take your land, but it also wants to take your water. The Iowa company, which wants to run a network of carbon dioxide pipelines across South Dakota to cash in on federal tax credits for carbon sequestration, wants to drill a well near Redfield and take 21 million gallons of water a year:
A corporate entity affiliated with Summit Carbon Solutions, called Redfield SCS Capture, has applied to drill a well that could take up to 21 million gallons of water per year from the Dakota Aquifer, which is an amount equivalent to about 32 Olympic-sized pools.
The well would be about 1,100 feet deep and located a few miles north of Redfield, in the same area as the Redfield Energy ethanol plant, which is a partner in the Summit pipeline project.
The state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources said in a written statement to South Dakota Searchlight that the water will be used for “non-contact cooling.” The department provided no further information, and Summit did not respond to multiple Searchlight messages. Other sources interviewed for this story speculated the water will be used to cool pipes carrying pressurized carbon dioxide.
After its use, the water would be discharged into a local waterway, DANR’s report says. The report does not say which body of water, but the site is near Turtle Creek and the James River [Joshua Haiar, “Carbon Pipeline Company’s Water-Rights Application Sparks Opposition,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023,08.20].
The state says that in 1982, the Dakota Aquifer had around 124 trillion gallons of water, enough to cool the carbon dioxide pipeline near Redfield for 5.9 million years. But some neighbors are concerned the project could hurt their water supply:
One of those nearby residents is Debra Curtis, who ranches about 2.5 miles from the proposed Summit well and fears it would “reduce the water pressure and flow of my well.”
Dave and Stacey Marlow wrote to the department that their drive-in theater “will not have adequate water pressure to continue business” if the project is permitted.
“I was told that much water being extracted will create a cone-shaped vacuum into the aquifer,” Dave Marlow told South Dakota Searchlight. “And for wells only a mile or so away, like ours, there’s just not enough pressure” [Haiar, 2023.08.20].
Concerned water users will get a chance to voice their opposition to Summit Carbon Solution’s well application before the state Water Management Board at a contested case hearing on October 4 in Pierre.