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Report: Ind. coal mines hold untapped water

A new report by the Indiana Geological Survey says the state’s abandoned coal mines could someday serve as a bountiful source of groundwater.

The report’s authors say there may be as much as 172 billion gallons of groundwater in underground coal mines that are found beneath more than 194,000 acres of southwestern Indiana.

Although little is known about the quality of water within flooded coal mines, Indiana Geological Survey Director John Steinmetz says the new study points to a potential water resource for Indiana “that has heretofore not even been considered.”

He says the water within these flooded coal mines could potentially be tapped for water needs or for “geothermal heat-pump and cooling systems, and even for energy storage.”

The report suggests follow-up research on the mines’ water reserves.

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