2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

An Analysis of Water Use in Hydraulic Fracturing Vs. Other Uses

Wednesday, April 27, 2016: 10:50 a.m.
Confluence Ballroom A (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Mike Nickolaus, PG , Ground Water Protection Council, Oklahoma City, OK
Steven P. Musick, B.S., PG , Musick Groundwater Consulting and the Ground Water Protection Council, Wimberley, TX

It has often been said that hydraulic fracturing uses a relatively small amount of water when compared to other uses. Clearly, high volume horizontal well hydraulic fracturing is a relatively minor user of water at the national level, accounting for less than 0.1% of water use when compared to other water uses such as irrigation and public water supply. However, the question remains as to whether or not this ratio of usage between sectors remains consistent down to the local level. In this presentation we will discuss the findings of a comparative analysis of water use in the sectors of irrigation, public water supply, and hydraulic fracturing at decreasing geographic scales in three oil and gas producing states (Texas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota) to determine whether or not the relationship between water usage in these sectors remains relatively static from national to county levels. Further we will evaluate the relative use between states to determine what effect substantial reuse of water for hydraulic fracturing has on overall water use when compared to other sectors.  To analyze water usage across the three sectors, data from USGS water use publications and the FracFocus© chemical registry were utilized. Where unique state or regional conditions might apply, additional information from state regulatory agencies was utilized to ensure that water usage was consistent with agency figures.

Mike Nickolaus, PG, Ground Water Protection Council, Oklahoma City, OK
Mike is the Project/ Underground Injection Control Policy Manager for the Ground Water Protection Council. He is the former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas. Mike has worked in the field of geology for nearly 30 years. He is a Professional Geologist and Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Steven P. Musick, B.S., PG, Musick Groundwater Consulting and the Ground Water Protection Council, Wimberley, TX
Steve Musick has a Bachelors Degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and is licensed in Texas as a Professional Geoscientist. He worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from 1981 to 2007 in the UIC program and the state's groundwater protection program. He was responsible for support of the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee, the state's management plan for agricultural chemicals in groundwater, and implementation of the Priority Groundwater Management Area Program. Since leaving state service, he has consulted with the Ground Water Protection Council on technical and policy issues.