Primary Water Theories | Bloom the Desert

The first experience with primary water for Reiss was an unexpected gush of water while working in a mineshaft. The temperature, chemistry and purity suggested to Riess that it must have a completely different origin than ordinary ground water considered part of the hydrologic cycle. Following further independent research, and building on the work of other eminent geologists, he concluded that in various rock strata, deep in the earth, water was continually generated under particular conditions of temperature and pressure and forced up in rock fissures where it could be drilled for and tapped.

Stephan Riess, through his study of mine flooding, developed a science of locating flows of Earth-generated water. These waters, which often deposit minerals and flood out mines occur worldwide as spectacular springs and are even more accessible by drilling into hidden rock structure. The Riess Institute’s scientific application of petrology, mineralogy, structural geology, aerial reconnaissance and remotely sensed data, offers “new water” for a thirsty world.

At the city’s request, Riess returned to locate a third well for Cottonwood’s future expansion. This well produced over 1,200 litres per minute. All three wells continue to supply the city of Cottonwood today. Conventional water locators pick a spot to drill, looking for an aquifer or saturated zone in the overburden. Recently, with sophisticated airborne geophysical and satellite data groundwater and primary water can be located in rock using a technique called “fracture trace analysis.” Large fractures are identified by through analysis of the airborne and satellite for exploratory drilling.

An example of this technique can be viewed at

Primary Water Theories | Bloom the Desert