WESTERVILLE, Ohio — The National Ground Water Association's (NGWA) recently updated Hydraulic Fracturing: Meeting the Nation’s Energy Needs While Protecting Groundwater Resources position paper presents the official position of the Association, according to a press release.

The paper identifies steps to take to protect the country’s valuable groundwater and drinking water supplies while addressing the nation’s energy needs through increased oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing, noted the release.

Defining the oil and gas hydraulic fracturing process as “a method where fluids are injected under very high pressures to create fractures that extend from a borehole hundreds of feet into surrounding rock formations,” the paper supports additional studies, field-based research and groundwater monitoring while finding that currently no widespread water quality or quantity issues have been definitively documented that are attributable to the oil and gas hydraulic fracturing process itself, the release reported.

However, continued the release, there have been several cases of water contamination related to oil and gas activities such as faulty casing installations, unsealed abandoned wells or poor management of materials/chemicals at the surface.

According to the release, position papers are based on generally accepted scientific and technical understanding and, if applicable to the subject matter, to striking a balance of human and environmental needs, and are defined as the official position of the Association on issues of federal legislative or regulatory importance to the groundwater industry.

Read the full release here.