According to The Fort Stockton Pioneer, The Odessa Development Corporation has agreed to give $1,474,000 to Fort Stockton to drill a test well in the Capitan Reef Aquifer near Belding Farms.
By providing the funding for the project, Odessa and Fort Stockton have essentially agreed to draw water from the same source.
Fort Stockton officials believe that water from the Capitan Reef Aquifer could be used for drinking and irrigation once it's been desalinated.
The water that will be tested from the Capitan Reef Aquifer will come from 2,500 feet below ground -- which is much further in the ground than the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer, where Fort Stockton currently draws water from (200 feet below ground).
The Colorado River Municipal Water District has the ability to access water from the Capitan Reef Aquifer in Ward County, but that water lies 4,500 feet below the surface.
Fort Stockton officials believe the water in the Belding Farms area will be of better quality than the water the C.R.M.W.D. has access to.
Even if the water is usable, Fort Stockton would have to expand the capacity of their already-built desalination plant. The plant currently can clean 10 million gallons of brackish water a day, but it would need to clean 50 million gallons a day to service both Fort Stockton and Odessa.
A 93-mile pipeline would also need to be built to pump water to Odessa.
Odessa officials have reportedly agreed to spend up to $180 million to ensure adequate water from the reef reaches the city.
Both Fort Stockton and Odessa would have to apply for a permit from the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District to drill for the water in the Capitan Reef Aquifer as well.
As of Thursday, neither city had sent an application to M.P.G.C.D.