Integration of Water Resource Models with Fayetteville Shale Decision Support and Information System

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Significant issues can arise with the timing, location, and volume of surface water withdrawals associated with hydraulic fracturing of gas shale reservoirs as impacted watersheds may be sensitive, especially in drought years, during low flow periods, or during periods of the year when activities such as irrigation place additional demands on the surface supply of water. Significant energy production and associated water withdrawals may have a cumulative impact to watersheds over the short-term. Hence, hydraulic fracturing based on water withdrawal could potentially create shifts in the timing and magnitude of low or high flow events or change the magnitude of ... continued below

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Cothren, Jackson; Thoma, Greg; DiLuzio, Mauro & Limp, Fred June 30, 2013.

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Description

Significant issues can arise with the timing, location, and volume of surface water withdrawals associated with hydraulic fracturing of gas shale reservoirs as impacted watersheds may be sensitive, especially in drought years, during low flow periods, or during periods of the year when activities such as irrigation place additional demands on the surface supply of water. Significant energy production and associated water withdrawals may have a cumulative impact to watersheds over the short-term. Hence, hydraulic fracturing based on water withdrawal could potentially create shifts in the timing and magnitude of low or high flow events or change the magnitude of river flow at daily, monthly, seasonal, or yearly time scales. These changes in flow regimes can result in dramatically altered river systems. Currently little is known about the impact of fracturing on stream flow behavior. Within this context the objective of this study is to assess the impact of the hydraulic fracturing on the water balance of the Fayetteville Shale play area and examine the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on river flow regime at subbasin scale. This project addressed that need with four unique but integrated research and development efforts: 1) Evaluate the predictive reliability of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model based at a variety of scales (Task/Section 3.5). The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to simulate the across-scale water balance and the respective impact of hydraulic fracturing. A second hypothetical scenario was designed to assess the current and future impacts of water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing on the flow regime and on the environmental flow components (EFCs) of the river. The shifting of these components, which present critical elements to water supply and water quality, could influence the ecological dynamics of river systems. For this purpose, we combined the use of SWAT model and Richter et al.’s (1996) methodology to assess the shifting and alteration of the flow regime within the river and streams of the study area. 2) Evaluate the effect of measurable land use changes related to gas development (well-pad placement, access road completion, etc.) on surface water flow in the region (Task/Section 3.7). Results showed that since the upsurge in shale-gas related activities in the Fayetteville Shale Play (between 2006 and 2010), shale-gas related infrastructure in the region have increase by 78%. This change in land-cover in comparison with other land-cover classes such as forest, urban, pasture, agricultural and water indicates the highest rate of change in any land-cover category for the study period. A Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) flow model of the Little Red River watershed simulated from 2000 to 2009 showed a 10% increase in storm water runoff. A forecast scenario based on the assumption that 2010 land-cover does not see any significant change over the forecast period (2010 to 2020) also showed a 10% increase in storm water runoff. Further analyses showed that this change in the stream-flow regime for the forecast period is attributable to the increase in land-cover as introduced by the shale-gas infrastructure. 3) Upgrade the Fayetteville Shale Information System to include information on watershed status. (Tasks/Sections 2.1 and 2.2). This development occurred early in the project period, and technological improvements in web-map API’s have made it possible to further improve the map. The current sites (http://lingo.cast.uark.edu) is available but is currently being upgraded to a more modern interface and robust mapping engine using funds outside this project. 4) Incorporate the methodologies developed in Tasks/Sections 3.5 and 3.7 into a Spatial Decision Support System for use by regulatory agencies and producers in the play. The resulting system is available at http://fayshale.cast.uark.edu and is under review the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FE0000804
  • DOI: 10.2172/1110802 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1110802
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc866314

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  • June 30, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 9:23 p.m.

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Cothren, Jackson; Thoma, Greg; DiLuzio, Mauro & Limp, Fred. Integration of Water Resource Models with Fayetteville Shale Decision Support and Information System, report, June 30, 2013; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc866314/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.