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Animas River, Colorado

Category: Uncategorized

Photo Courtesy of: Riverhugger

The Challenge

On August 12, 2015, the US experienced one of its worst hardrock-mining disasters when 3 million gallons of toxic mining waste spilled into the Animas River in Colorado. The spill has spread from Colorado into New Mexico and now into Utah — affecting over 100 river miles. Cities all along the Animas River, have had to shut off their water-intake systems and the river was closed to all users or several days – a major economic hit to the region.

Bill Simon of the Animas River Stakeholders Group’s (ARSG) wants to collaborate with technical experts to explore new technologies to treat acid mine drainage.  Traditional methods, such as lime treatment followed by high density sludge removal, are too expensive in the high altitude and remote environment of the Animas Watershed.

A Scientific Partner

Recently, ARSG has used Innocentive to explore new technologies and found a few promising alternatives.  Bill is looking for one or more scientific partners, especially with expertise in organic chemistry or electrocoagulation, to help vet these new solutions to treat acid mine drainage.



Required Skills

  • An understanding of acid mine drainage technologies.
  • Familiarity with the Animas River, both personally and scientifically, is a plus.
  • Ability to interact in-person in Durango, CO.
  • Ability to operate effectively in environments where science is not the only factor, and often not even the leading factor, in decision making.
  • The ability to explain technical concepts clearly and in every-day language.




Desired Skills

  • Ability to interact well with a diverse group of stakeholders and respect community input and participation.
  • Ability to interact well with community partners along the Animas River – in Colorado and potentially New Mexico and Utah as well.
  • Skill representing Earth science to community leaders and the public in a variety of settings.
  • An impressive academic or professional resume.
  • Willingness to do public outreach and engagement on behalf of this effort.
  • Previous experience with online challenge platforms might be helpful.


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