Groundwater Resource Development for the Natural Gas Industry

July 10, 2019
For the natural gas industry, access to on-site water supplies for hydraulic fracturing can provide the make-or-break difference to maximize the profitability of resource development.

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W VA & NORWOOD, MA, JULY 10, 2019 -- Substantial water sources are needed by the natural gas industry for fracking gas wells and other purposes. Evaluating the potential to secure and utilize groundwater resources near gas well drilling sites is becoming more appealing due to the increasingly high costs associated with trucking-in water from outside sources and complying with stricter regulations limiting the use of nearby surface waters. The availability of groundwater resources is dependent upon site-specific geologic and hydrogeologic conditions. Therefore, establishing an understanding of where all potential groundwater resources can be developed near gas well drilling sites can serve as a critical tool for water resource planning for the gas drilling industry. Developing groundwater resources has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to solving on-site (or near-site) water supply issues.

Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations (EGGI), A Division of GZA has established a detailed and comprehensive groundwater exploration program that can identify favorable groundwater development sites that may exist within local bedrock aquifers that can be used by Natural Gas industry.

Recently, EGGI’s groundwater exploration program identified significant groundwater sources within a defined limited study area in Monongalia County, West Virginia that yielded 400 gallons per minute, the equivalent of a 3,000-gallon tanker every 8 minutes. Aside from significantly reducing the cost of trucking, developing a useable groundwater source close to well pads also limits noise, congestion and wear & tear on roadways - which benefits the local towns and municipalities. EGGI strongly believes this successful groundwater exploration and development program can be applied to many other localities that would benefit from a source of groundwater that can be developed proximal to proposed natural gas drilling sites.