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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Global demand for energy continues to increase and the new technologies of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing allow extraction of new shale reserves. Shale oil and gas development provides economic benefits and less air pollution than other fossil fuels, but hydraulic fracturing also uses large quantities of water and produces toxic chemicals. Better science can help predict and avoid conflicts between shale energy development and the need for clean safe waters for people and natural systems. The Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Hydraulic Fracturing Working Group will synthesize fine-scale information across the 48 contiguous United States on: well locations, water and chemical use, other water needs, watershed importance to drinking water, and location of sensitive species, to assess the effects of current and projected future hydraulic fracturing development on water quantity and quality. The project will also review existing water use and waste management plans to develop policy recommendations and best management practices to help states and countries mitigate the risks identified.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

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

Project Dates

Start: November 1, 2013

End: October 31, 2015



Maria Alejandrina Alvarez
The Nature Conservancy Argentina
Ann Arnold
State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama
Sharon Baruch-Mordo
The Nature Conservancy
Sally Entrekin
University of Central Arkansas
Joseph E. Fargione
The Nature Conservancy
Martin Funes
Wildlife Conservation Society Argentina
Justine Hausheer
The Nature Conservancy
Paul Jehn
Ground Water Protection Council
Brigid Kenney
Maryland Department of the Environment
Joseph M. Kiesecker
The Nature Conservancy
Kate Konschnik
Harvard University
Nathan Kuhnert
Devon Energy
Kelly O Maloney
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Jean Philippe Nicot
University of Texas
Lauren Patterson
Duke University
Robert Puls
University of Oklahoma
Joseph N Ryan
University of Colorado
James Saiers
Yale University
Evonne Tang
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
Jim Tolisano
Wildlife Conservation Society
Anne M. Trainor
The Nature Conservancy
Avner Vengosh
Duke University
Hannah Wiseman
Florida State University
Dan Yates
Ground Water Protection Council


  1. Presentations / 2016

    Shale oil and gas and surface waters: identifying potential contamination pathways through evaluation of state notice of violation and spill reports

  2. Presentations / 2016

    Spills and high volume hydraulic fracturing – an analysis of state data from Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania

  3. Journal Article / 2017

    Unconventional oil and gas spills: Materials, volumes, and risks to surface waters in four states of the U.S.

  4. Journal Article / 2015

    A world at risk: Aggregating development trends to forecast global habitat conversion

  5. Data Set / 2016

    Unconventional oil and gas spills: Risks, mitigation priorities and state reporting requirements

  6. Journal Article / 2017

    Unconventional oil and gas spills: Risks, mitigation priorities, and state reporting requirements

  7. Data Set / 2017

    Unconventional oil and gas spills: Risks, mitigation priorities and state reporting requirements (raw data)

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