Groundwater

Oral

394960 - A network analysis of price-induced changes in water use for hydraulic fracturing Texas

Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: Carlos Galdeano, Austin – University of Texas at Austin; Yael Glazer, Austin – University of Texas at Austin; Michael Webber, Austin – University of Texas at Austin

Oil and gas exploration and production has increased with the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in Texas, augmenting the consumption of water per well. Freshwater is a common source to fill water demands, but these acute increases in water use are often in areas of existing water scarcity. Dwindling resources have encouraged oil and gas operators to seek alternative water resources--brackish, produced water, and municipal effluent. The Texas State Legislature and the oil and gas regulator, the Texas Railroad Commission, have expressed a desire to encourage use of alternative resources. However, groundwater policies in Texas allow for freshwater withdrawal beyond that deemed sustainable by regional groundwater authorities. In this analysis, we test the marketability of water resources (fresh, brackish, produced, effluent) in an area with robust oil and gas activity using a network analysis of water supplies and demands. We expect to find that current water regulations allow for distortion in price that does not reflect scarcity of resources. Policy changes could be made to more adequately reflect water scarcity within the water market or re-align priorities in water use to offset freshwater demand.

Margaret Cook

PhD Candidate
The University of Texas at Austin

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394960 - A network analysis of price-induced changes in water use for hydraulic fracturing Texas



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