News | April 21, 2014

Over $500,000 Invested For Canadian Water Researchers To Examine Major Water Issues Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing Activities And Water

Research will focus on knowledge gaps involving water, including water use, wastewater management, and the impact of hydraulic fracturing activities on surrounding water resources

Waterloo, ON - Canadian Water Network (CWN), the leading national organization that integrates water knowledge and research into practice across Canada, is investing over $500,000 with Canadian researchers and partners. The projects will define research options to underpin decision-making with respect to water and hydraulic fracturing in Canada.

"We are making an investment today to ensure that decisions made in the future surrounding hydraulic fracturing and water will be informed by the best available science," says Simon Courtenay, Scientific Director, Canadian Water Network. "The hydraulic fracturing industry is rapidly expanding, and the need for scientific knowledge to help decision-makers has become a recurring theme highlighted in studies undertaken by provincial and territorial governments across Canada."

"The long-term goal of the research is to elevate the science and have various stakeholders across Canada come together and have a common discussion on how research can best address issues in water and hydraulic fracturing," says Bernadette Conant, Executive Director, Canadian Water Network.

CWN has identified the following 5 key issue areas that are of greatest concern to Canadians, related to water and the implementation of hydraulic fracturing for exploration or development of shale gas or petroleum-related resources:

  1. Water use and demand management
  2. Wastewater handling, treatment and disposal
  3. Groundwater and subsurface impact issues
  4. Landscape impacts of development/operations on surface water/watersheds
  5. Watershed governance and management approaches for resource development, including aboriginal issues

The following projects have been selected:

  • Dr. Greg Goss, University of Alberta: Unconventional Wastewater Management: A comparative review and analysis of hydraulic fracturing wastewater management practices across four North American basins
  • Dr. Cathy Ryan, University of Calgary: Subsurface Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing, Including Contamination, Seismic Sensitivity, and Groundwater Use and Demand Management
  • Dr. Michael Quinn, Mount Royal University: Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Knowledge Integration: Landscape impacts
  • Dr. Graham Gagnon, Dalhousie University: Development of a Water Safety Framework for Watershed and Water Demand Governance and Management Approaches Related to Hydraulic Fracturing

The projects include researchers from 15 universities across Canada, along with more than 15 partners, including First Nations organizations, government, industry and non-governmental organizations. Projects are one year in duration and will end March 31, 2015.

About Canadian Water Network (CWN) Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canadian Water Network (www.cwn-rce.ca) was created in 2001 by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program to connect international water researchers with decision-makers engaged in priority water management issues. Canadian Water Network works to harness the expertise of researchers to improve the ability of practitioners and implementers to respond to water challenges.

SOURCE: Canadian Water Network