On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey released an article assessing the amount of water injected during hydraulic fracturing operation across the United States and its potential environmental impacts. The article is entitled “Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications.”
According to the article, the amount of fresh water used for hydraulic fracturing is different from one state to another because of regional variations in terms of local climate, geological strata, hydrologic flow, and management practices applied to natural gas drilling and production. USGS also determines that well configurations within specific hydrocarbon reservoirs affect the water use. As a result, the potential for environmental impacts is greatly influenced by oil and gas characteristics among the states.
The researchers concluded that “because hydraulic fracturing is not a one-size-fits-all operation, assumptions and generalizations regarding water use in hydraulic fracturing operations and the potential for environmental impacts should be made with caution.”
As part of the report, researchers provided a national-scale map of hydraulic fracturing water usage. Further information is available at http://energy.usgs.gov/default.aspx.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow