Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Research and Education on Water-Energy Nexus: Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing and Thermal Power Generation on Water Resources
by Unruh, Hanz, M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 109; 10642270
Abstract (Summary)

Unconventional oil and gas extraction has been deployed significantly in the United States in recent years. The current study focuses on the impact of hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) on the sustainability of water resources in Louisiana. This impact is measured by quantifying the stress for current and future scenarios of fracking water use in the two main shale plays in Louisiana. The assessment is conducted at the HUC-12 fine catchment spatial scale. Initially, sectored stress metrics were calculated for surface and groundwater, respectively, without including fracking water use. Once both stress metrics were estimated with the reported water sources and uses in Louisiana corresponding to the 2010 year, several scenarios for both sources were evaluated. In the first scenario, a peak year (2011) of fracking water use was added as a water demand new category into the stress calculation matrices. The results indicate that a significant variability in the calculated stress metric with and without fracking is reflected only for the groundwater sector. The second Existing wells scenario calculates the stress including the water use of the total number of wells that currently exist in both shale plays over a brief time period. The other additional tested scenario consists of an increase of 100% of the required number of wells to extract the expected total shale play capacity. Results of the additional scenarios follow the same pattern as the first scenario. This analysis can be useful for water management authorities to consider several factors, such as cost analysis of recycled flow-back, as alternative resources for fracking water use. In addition to this fracking water use impact on resources analysis, an educational web-module comprising the Energy-Water Nexus is developed in the current study. The core of the educational module available online is contained in the learning activities development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Habib, Emad H.
Commitee: Borrok, David M., Sun, Xiaoduan
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Civil Engineering
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Education, Civil engineering, Water Resource Management, Energy
Keywords: Educational module, Groundwater, Hydraulic fracturing, Surface water, Water resources, Water stress
Publication Number: 10642270
ISBN: 978-0-355-85410-7
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