Press Release

Model Solutions for Shale Gas Wastewater Management

Oct 18, 2016

WASHINGTON—According to the authors of a new study posted today by Resources for the Future (RFF), “The concerns associated with shale gas development necessitate an investigation of shale gas water and wastewater management using a systematic approach to make sure the shale gas development is environmentally sustainable.” The authors then introduce a model for shale gas water and wastewater management that incorporates the objectives of four different types of decisionmakers.

Fracking involves millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals and injected into the well at high pressure to break up the shale and release oil and gas. Some of that water returns to the surface requiring proper treatment to avoid environmental damage or risks to human health.

Authors RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick, RFF Fellow Jhih-Shyang Shih, and Research Assistant Elaine Swiedler discuss the potential use of the model in wastewater management decisionmaking and the future expansion of the model to that end. In the report, A Model for Shale Gas Wastewater Management, the four different types of decisionmakers addressed by the model are oil and gas well developers and operators, centralized wastewater treatment facility planners and operators, environmental regulators, and social planners.

The report notes, “The ultimate goal is to provide tools to both operators and government regulators to improve the economics and sustainability of shale gas development.”

Read the full study: A Model for Shale Gas Wastewater Management

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Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, that conducts rigorous economic research and analysis to improve environmental and natural resource policy.