Alternative water sources for hydraulic fracturing in Texas

Margaret A. Cook, Ashlynn S. Stillwell, Carey W. King, Michael E. Webber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper describes an evaluation of cross-sector investments in water efficiency to enable increased water availability for hydraulic fracturing. In particular, water needs in Texas are examined to identify the water balances and cost requirements to deploy efficient irrigation water systems for the agricultural sector as a way to make available more water for the energy sector. The Rio Grande Valley in Texas is examined for these water savings that could be transferred to gas and oil production in the Eagle Ford shale formation. To evaluate water availability for use in oil and gas production, a model of water and cost savings from conservation technologies is shown at county-wide resolution. To demonstrate this methodology, we use irrigation districts on the Lower Rio Grande River in Texas to assess the feasibility of retrofitting alternative irrigation techniques for current agricultural sites. We found that between 420 and 800 million cubic meters (m3) or between 340,000 and 650,000 acre-feet (ac-ft) of water could be spared per year over a 10-year period, enabling freshwater use in oil and gas production in more than 26,000 wells in the Lower Rio Grande Valley alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2013
Subtitle of host publicationShowcasing the Future - Proceedings of the 2013 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Pages2818-2832
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780784412947
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2013: Showcasing the Future - Cincinnati, OH, United States
Duration: May 19 2013May 23 2013

Publication series

NameWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2013: Showcasing the Future - Proceedings of the 2013 Congress

Other

OtherWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2013: Showcasing the Future
CountryUnited States
CityCincinnati, OH
Period5/19/135/23/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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