NCEAS Project 12685

SNAP: Impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quantity and quality for nature and people: Are we prepared for the future?

  • Sharon Baruch-Mordo
  • Joseph E. Fargione
  • Joseph M. Kiesecker
  • Joseph N Ryan
  • Anne M. Trainor

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group12th—14th May 2014Participant List  
Working Group15th—17th October 2014Participant List  

Hydrologic fracturing of shale resources threatens both water quality and quantity and current regulations are highly variable but generally inadequate. Public concerns over potential impacts are high, leading to interest by policymakers and regulators for science-based recommendations. However current knowledge gaps limit implementation of sound policy to avoid and mitigate impacts to surface and ground water. We propose a SNAP working group that will synthesis data and regulations to: 1) project water demand based on development scenarios and identify watersheds with potential for water quantity conflicts and the restrictions required to avoid such conflicts; 2) evaluate spatial pattern of chemical use and identify risks and knowledge gaps; 3) simulate contamination events and proposed mitigation responses to quantify impacts on environment and people and identify policies needed to mitigate risk; and 4) communicate results and policy recommendations to stakeholders through meetings, a policy white paper, peer reviewed publications, and web-based products. Because many state governments in the USA as well as various countries (i.e., Argentina, Australia, and China) are in the process of creating or revising regulations to address the recent boom in shale gas development, a unique opportunity exists to work with stakeholders and implement working group results into policy formation.