Geologists have understood the presence of shale gas and shale oil since the early 20th century, but always considered it unattainable due to shale’s low permeability. The shale gas revolution in the United States, brought about by the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has proven the feasibility of economically accessing this resource and significantly increasing the world’s proven reserve. As we enter the era of application of this technology worldwide, countries will have to weigh the promise of increased energy independence and hydrocarbon revenue against the potential damage to water supplies. Hydrofracking’s voracious thirst for water and potential to pollute will impact surface water bodies and aquifers. We review the basic technique and potentially contaminating fracking fluid additives. We examine the potential for damage to water quality and the potential effect on water availability in China, Mexico, South Africa and Algeria.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Book Chapter

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Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CET)


RIT – Main Campus