Is ‘primary water’ on tap for IWV?

Is ‘primary water’ on tap for IWV?By JEANETTE FRANCIS

News Review Correspondent

As local authorities continue to consider solutions for managing and sustaining local groundwater in the face of a state designation of water “overdraft,” the quest continues to access an apparently limitless quantity of local, usable water deep inside the earth – primary water. Supporters of the theory contend that it will turn the water issue on its head and change the question from “How do we save and stretch the little water we have?” to “Where can we find room to collect the vast stores of water awaiting us?”

Hydrogeologist Pal Pauer, who has drilled wells all over the world to test for the presence of primary water, is the spearhead of the movement to find primary water and educate the public about it. Pauer is the founder of The Primary Water Institute, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to teaching what is known about the volcanic origin of water from deep beneath the crust of our living world,” according to the organization’s website.

Primary water is “created deep within the Earth from the synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen” caused by “tremendous pressure from Earth’s internal heat,” according to the PWI website. The water is forced upward through rock fissures (the weakest areas of the earth’s crust) in the form of vapor, which cools into liquid form. This water can be harvested and used via drilling.

Pauer asserts that the entire Indian Wells Valley has the characteristics needed to produce primary water. “You have to have volcanics to have primary water,” he said. “Many of them [rock fissures] used to be vents like Yellowstone geysers. There a tremendous amount of water is expelled into the atmosphere on a regular basis. Two-thirds of hot springs originate down below. Those are excellent sites; all those volcanics are fantastic as far as prospects for water,” he said.

Pauer cited “a little lake going on 395 north” as evidence supporting the assertion that there is primary water in the IWV. “That is in fact primary water in origin, and you can see the structure there, the plutonic all by itself,” he said.

“That water is always there – no matter what time of the year you go it’s always full, notwithstanding the fact that you have tremendous evaporation in the summertime and there is no rainfall in the summertime. So that water has to come from down below.”

Pauer contends that the Garlock fault is a “geological phenomenon,” saying there are “no comparable places, not in grandeur and not in influence,” in the world in terms of prospects for accessing primary water. “Garlock is truly unique in every sense of the word,” Pauer said. “You can easily spot literally hundreds of sites where it would be available.”

Pauer added that because the Garlock fault is a thrust fault, “Tremendous heat and pressure are generated in that area because it is riddled with faults. Consequently a lot of water is generated down below.”

Pauer led the effort to find primary water in the Garlock fault, an effort known as the Garlock Project. He gave a presentation on the project at the IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group meeting at the Indian Wells Valley Water District on Feb. 16.

During that presentation Pauer reported that his mentor, hydrologist and mining engineer Dr. Stephan Riess, believed that the source of primary water for California City was the Garlock fault. Pauer tested his mentor’s hypothesis when he drilled two test boreholes adjacent to the Garlock fault in the Tehachapi Mountains at a 6,000-foot elevation in December 2015. He decided on the location of the wells based on a week of onsite investigation, at which time he determined that the rim of a vent in the earth two to five feet wide adjacent to the fault was a favorable site.

The first test well was 100 feet deep and yielded an estimated 800-plus gallons of water per minute from a seven-inch-diameter borehole. The water quality was also “very good” as measured by total dissolved solids in parts per million. The second test well yielded a larger quantity of water at a 60-foot depth. Both wells could not be drilled deeper because of a lack of available air volume and pressure to remove debris and water.

Pauer provided photo documentation of the project as part of his presentation. One picture shows the presence of two large oak trees growing at the location of the test wells. Pauer believes the trees indicate the presence of water.

Pauer reported in the current interview that he estimates whether a particular location will yield usable water in part by determining total dissolved solids in current area drills. “I do my homework,” he commented.

“Mind you not all of the water that comes out of those structures is actually usable. Many of them are noxious. But you will not know until you drill what kind of water you are going to get.” Pauer related that he has found usable water “I believe 70 percent of the time, 60 to 70 percent of the time.”

Pauer emphasized how to tell the difference between whether groundwater came from the atmosphere or was created within the earth, reiterating the significance of the body of water (Little Lake) on 395 North. “It has always maintained its water level. Now it didn’t come from the sky, so it has to be made down below,” he said.

Pauer also believes that the longevity of IWV wells despite their usage over many years is additional evidence for the presence of primary water. “By and large those wells maintain a steady supply of water,” he said.

Pauer believes delivery of water to areas where it is needed is the problem, not a lack of water. “You don’t have any water shortage there. That’s utter nonsense — that we are in critical overdraft. The creator did bless this planet with a lot of water.”

To date local efforts to investigate the theory appear to be minimal. Don Zdeba, IWVWD manager, stated that the water board has no plans to explore the possibility further. Donna Thomas, chair of the IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group, concurred.

Pauer commented that he can sense local skepticism but encourages people to maintain open minds and keep the option open for consideration and discussion.

“It’s hard to get the point across to many people in the U.S. that the Earth makes water. We can access it and solve our problems. We don’t need massive storage facilities or aqueducts. Clean, virtually infinite sources of water are right under our feet,” Pauer says on the institute’s website.

“We hear that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water — rather than oil as in the last. Nothing holds more potential to abolish these wars — and ameliorate the shocking condition of nearly one billion people on earth without access to clean, safe water — than the science of primary water.”

The subject was featured in a 2014 issue of New Scientist, titled “Planet Earth makes its own water from scratch deep in the mantle.” The article is still online for review.

For further information, including videos of Pauer drilling for water all over the world, visit

Pictured: Hydrogeologist Pal Pauer -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-05-12