From the Los Angeles Times:
""It is one of the largest resource losses in the country," said Thomas S. Buqo, a Nevada hydrogeologist. "Nobody thought to say, 'You are destroying a natural resource.' "
In a study for Nye County, where the nuclear test site lies, Buqo estimated that the underground tests polluted 1.6 trillion gallons of water. That is as much water as Nevada is allowed to withdraw from the Colorado River in 16 years -- enough to fill a lake 300 miles long, a mile wide and 25 feet deep."