The Truth About the Risks to Freshwater Aquifers Posed by Underground Carbon Sequestration
By: Mike Orcutt (November 29, 2010)
This article examines carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), a method aimed at limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) release into the atmosphere. The process involves capturing CO2 at its source, such as power plants, and storing it deep underground. A potential risk is inadvertent leaks, which might contaminate drinking water supplies. Recent research published in Environmental Science & Technology has studied this risk and found that CO2 leaks could cause significant changes in freshwater aquifers' chemistry.
However, experts have been aware of this risk, and comprehensive regulations are in place to mitigate it. They are developing tools for early leak detection, monitoring, and mitigation. While occasional leaks are likely, the focus is on early detection to prevent larger issues. The article urges that while considering these risks, the broader context of the devastating effects of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere should not be overlooked.