395414 - Assessing the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Water Resources: Indices and Issues

Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: Treton Barnes, Wilberforce, OH – Central State University

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a water-intensive process is heavily used in oil and gas extraction. It can impact the water resources in a region and its community. An index that is built upon various measurable technical and socio-economical indicators can be used assess the impacts in a period of time.
Two indices were developed to assess the impacts of fracking on water resources: Water Impact Index for Hydraulic Fracturing (WII4HF) and Hydrology- Environment- Cost Index for Hydraulic Fracturing (HECIHF). WII4HF is an index that is developed on indicators, as hydrology (H), environment (E), cost of lifestyle (L) and policy (P) by observing the shift in these indicators at three levels, Pressure-State-Response (PSR) that link their cause-action-effect relationships. HECIHF uses water quantity, water quality, environment and cost as the indicators. These indicators are represented by the measurable parameters. The selection of parameters is the key to the success of the index. The parameters should be easily available, understandable, credible, relevant and integrative.
Selection of parameters and the estimation of WII4HF and HECIHF demonstrated for seven counties with oil and gas activities in Eastern Ohio for the period of 2005-2014. WII4HF and HECIHF estimates for the seven counties show that two counties, Stark County and Portage County – in spite of the need for further improvement- are with best water resources conditions among all. Carroll County, Harrison County, and Noble County have the most impacted water resources among the seven counties. The issues in the selection of the parameters are discussed.

Ramanitharan Kandiah, P.E., M.ASCE

Professor of Environmental Engineering
Central State University, Wilberforce, OH

Ramanitharan Kandiah PhD, PE, M.ASCE is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at International Center for Water Resources Management, Central State University, Wilberforce, OH. He is a co-author of the textbook, ’Introduction to Water Resources’. He holds a PhD in Civil engineering from Tulane University and a registered Professional Civil Engineer in Ohio.


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Trenton Barnes

Department of Water Resources Management, Central State University


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395414 - Assessing the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Water Resources: Indices and Issues

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