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Helicopter to fly over Eastern El Paso County to look for ways to save water

This new technology is the first of its kind to be used in El Paso County. It can map 2,000 feet below the surface to find untouched aquifers
An AEM helicopter flies over
Posted at 6:37 PM, May 23, 2023

CALHAN — On Tuesday, the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Groundwater Management District presented to the El Paso County Commissioners that they would be turning to a new technology to look for water in Eastern El Paso County.

A low-flying helicopter towing an electronic device that can see 2,000 feet below the surface for "rechargeable" aquifers.

"We know that our alluvial aquifer is, and has been, depleted immensely," said Dave Doran, President of the Groundwater Management District. "We're totally dependent on nonrenewable, Denver basin aquifers, and then a great portion of our alluvial aquifers all goes to Colorado Springs".

He says that after conducting several studies, the Groundwater Management District learned about a new technology
called AEM mapping.

"We found out about this AEM. Aero Electric Magnetic mapping and it's a 3D mapping, and they'll map down in our basin to about 2,000 feet deep, so that'll cover our bedrock aquifers as well," continued Doran.

The technology from a company called AGT will be looking for places where they can put water into "rechargeable" aquifers, to create a renewable water source in the area.

"Water's real important... very important out here," said the 16-year resident of Calhan Richard Kocehra. Kocehra says he's skeptical of continued growth along the front range that's partially depleting water near his town.

"The water underneath us, it falls every year. I mean, we're pumping out more water than what's been, you know, aquifers can put back in".

Doran is excited to have actual data on what's beneath the area for the future. That way, officials can make educated decisions about the future of Colorado.

"The empirical data that it gathers is guaranteed. And that's what we needed was science. Not just guessing".

The helicopter is set to take flight on June 7th. Weather permitting, they expect to complete the surveying process within a week.

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