Heavy oil production requires large quantities of freshwater for steam generation. Currently these operations utilize surface water and shallow groundwater for supply. An alternative source of water is the brackish groundwater from basal aquifers which exist in the lower portion of the Mannville Group and below the heavy oil horizons. Hence, the term "basal aquifers" is used to describe these water bearing sediments.

Due to corrosion and precipitation concerns, source water must have acceptable salinity and Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) levels. Salinity and TDS of groundwater can be conveniently estimated from electrical logs using empirical formulae.

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