Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers. They add that degraded water quality is a potential risk unless there are adequate safeguards.

The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers. They add that degraded water quality is a potential risk unless there are adequate safeguards. The article appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Meagan S. Mauter and colleagues point out that a major criticism of extracting shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is that it requires tremendous amounts of water -- 2.5 to 5 million gallons -- to develop a single well. Water, along with chemicals and sand, is injected under high pressure into wells to create cracks, or fractures, in shale and release stored gas. In some water-rich places, such as Pennsylvania, this is not a significant problem.

But in other locations, including some rural counties in arid south Texas, this level of water use competes with residential and agricultural needs and depletes groundwater resources. These and other types of region-specific scenarios are similar to what other states and countries could encounter when or if they also develop shale gas reserves. Mauter's team looked at what practices could help maintain a balance between fracking and environmental and residential needs.

The researchers say that there are ways to minimize the industry's water footprint. One method is to use brackish water that is not fit for drinking or agricultural use but can be suitable for fracking. The other method is to recycle the waste water. "Leadership from both industry and the U.S. government may be needed to assure that economic benefits of shale gas development are realized without significant regional impairment of water resource quantity and quality," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meagan S Mauter, Pedro J. J. Alvarez, G. Allen Burton, Diego Carlos Cafaro, Wei Chen, Kelvin B. Gregory, Guibin Jiang, Qilin Li, Jamie Pittock, Danny Reible, Jerald L. Schnoor. REGIONAL VARIATION IN WATER-RELATED IMPACTS OF SHALE GAS DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR EMERGING INTERNATIONAL PLAYS. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014; 140331150102001 DOI: 10.1021/es405432k

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102752.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, April 23). How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102752.htm
American Chemical Society. "How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102752.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins