Shale Energy Technology Assessment: Current and Emerging Water Practices [July 14, 2014] [open pdf - 3MB]
"Shale oil and gas (collectively referred to as shale energy), long considered 'unconventional' hydrocarbon resources, are now being developed rapidly. Economic extraction of shale energy resources typically relies on the use of hydraulic fracturing. This technique often requires significant amounts of freshwater, and fracturing flowback and related wastewaters must be recycled or disposed of after a well is completed. While shale energy presents a significant energy resource, its development has the potential to pose risks to water availability and water quality. This report provides a technological assessment of existing and emerging water procurement and management practices in shale energy-producing regions of the United States. The intersection of evolving technology, growing environmental concerns, demand for new sources of hydrocarbon energy, and the potential national interests in developing shale oil and gas resources provides the context for this study. Congressional attention has been focused on two key aspects of the issue: shale energy as a growing U.S. energy source, and environmental concerns associated with the development of these resources."
CRS Report for Congress, R43635
The National Agricultural Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/