U.S. Water News Online
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- A group looking to use more than 1
million gallons of water a day for an ethanol plant near here has
withdrawn its request for a permit, saying it will not need that much
Duaine Espegard, the lead director for the Newman Group, said the
group spent about $100,000 to find out from its consultant that
taking water from the Spiritwood aquifer would hurt others that use
"That aquifer is being drawn down anyway," Espegard said. "So
drawing any more water from it was not acceptable to us. The Newman
Group has no intention of harming any water source."
Cargill Malt is the biggest user of the Spiritwood aquifer,
drawing nearly 4 million gallons of water per day. Espegard said
computer modeling for the ethanol plant showed another 1 million
gallons would have been detrimental to all the users.
He said the plant needs only about 140,000 gallons of fresh water
a day in the ethanol-making process, and the rest can come from
Cargill after it has been used in the malting process.
"We'll be using 80 percent or better gray water," Espegard said.
"Most of the water is for cooling, not making ethanol."
The gray water will be treated before it is used.
Espegard said the Newman Group could test other aquifers in the
area or talk with the officials of Stutsman Rural Water system about
getting fresh water. The plant could use a variety of sources, and it
might even be possible to use 100 percent gray water, he said.
Groundbreaking and construction still are set for next spring.
"We're anxious to get it up and moving, but it's a huge project.
You have to take many, many steps to get this done," Espegard said.
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