Farmers may benefit from research about oil field wastewater

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

Farmers in the Central Valley of California can face a litany of challenges, many of which are unpredictable. That includes a lack of water because of an ongoing drought. Farmers needs to use a significant amount of water to function. Any source that can be effectively utilized and is deemed safe and efficient can be helpful. To access all the potential sources, it is imperative to keep track of research and how it can influence legal limitations. Those who are concerned about these issues or are embroiled in a dispute should be aware of the need for professional advice to find solutions for their plight.

New report says oil field wastewater can irrigate crops

According to local water-quality regulators, wastewater from oil fields can be used to irrigate crops without danger. This could be critical to local farmers who are being hampered by the ongoing drought impacting the entire state. Compiled over five years, the researchers state that there is no risk to humans if various crops like citrus, berries and others are irrigated by this water. The study does not end debate on the topic, but it bolsters farmers hopes to access this water to a greater degree.

Still, there continues to be hesitation on whether it will be allowed. The source has been used in the area for more than 30 years, but the study could expand that usage. This is viewed as an expensive process as the water must be treated, but those prices are reducing and this could be a strategy to help those whose agricultural endeavors are hindered by the drought. The oil industry has long supported this water being used for other purposes. Environmental advocates are expressing concerns. For the researchers’ part, they conducted tests between 2017 and 2019 for almost 400 chemicals with this water to see if it presented risks. It did not find any. Even with that, there are still questions about it.

Agricultural concerns may require professional help with the law

Agriculture law can be confusing. This research is an example of how farmers and others who work in agriculture are often at the whim of regulators as to how they can maintain or advance their business using new technology. There are inherent complexities with farming including land use, adhering to the environmental laws, ensuring safety practices are followed and possible advancements that could benefit them. For assistance with any of these concerns, having professional advice from the outset can be critical.


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