Tag Archives: Hydraulic fracturing

Oil and Gas Versus Nature

SASK OIL AND GAS

Water Under Pressure ~ Navigating competing demands between agriculture and natural resource development, by Chad Eggerman appeared in watercanada’s July/Aug, 2014 issue.

SASK AGRICULTURE LOGOSaskatchewan’s economy has been growing at a feverish pace the past few years on the pillars of agriculture, mining, and oil-and-gas SASK ECONOMYdevelopment. Although growth has recently settled at more
sustainable levels, recent discussion in the province has centered around how to
best use water resources in future development. This is an ongoing discussion in jurisdictions in Canada where both agriculture and natural resource development coexist, most prominently British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The agriculture sector is traditionally the largest user of water in Saskatchewan, particularly for irrigation in the West Central region of DIEF LAKEthe province around Lake Diefenbaker. By some estimates, there is the potential to expand as much as 500,000 additional acres of land to irrigation around the lake. The Government of Saskatchewan views this expansion as a major opportunity for economic growth and to attract investment. There are a number SASK IRRIGATION LOGOof irrigation districts in Saskatchewan that are administered by the Ministry of Agriculture under The Irrigation Act, 1996. Saskatchewan has been mining natural resources for many years but recent multibillion-dollar expansions and greenfield projects have raised Wollaston Lake uranium minesthe profile of mining in the province. The most established resources are uranium in the north and potash in the south. The potash-producing region in Saskatchewan directly overlaps prime agricultural land as well as considerable oil-and-gas reserves. SASK MININGThere are two methods to mine potash: solution mining and conventional shaft mining.

The solution-mining process involves the construction of a well field composed of at least two drill holes—one to send hot water down to the potash-bearing zones of rock, and another to bring the potash-laden brine up to the surface after percolating in an underground katepwa_lakecavern. Solution mining uses vast quantities of water. Currently, Vale proposes to build a 70-kilometre water pipeline to Katepwa Lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley to pump more than 40 million litres per day for their Kronau project (the equivalent of 15 KRONAU PROJECTOlympic-sized swimming pools). K+S Potash Canada is currently building a new solution potash mine and is planning on using up to 60 K S POTASHmillion litres of water per day. Different regulations in Saskatchewan apply depending on whether the water comes from the surface or the ground, the type of mining (for potash, solution or conventional), and the location (uranium in the north is regulated differently than potash in the south). The oil-and-gas industry in Saskatchewan OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhas experienced rapid growth recently due largely to continued expansion of the use of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), which involves pumping pressurized
water underground to fracture rock to extract oil or gas. There were 3,200 horizontally fracked wells sunk in Saskatchewan from 1990 to 2013. On average, there are about 3,000 new oil HORIZONTAL VERSUS FRACTUREwells (both vertical and horizontal) drilled in Saskatchewan each year. Any fresh water to be used in Saskatchewan for fracking is subject to appropriate approvals from various provincial water agencies.  Residual fracking fluids are recycled and disposed of at provincially approved waste processing facilities or stored. The discharge or storage of used fluids into the surface environment is prohibited in Saskatchewan. The risk of water availability for farmers, miners, and oil-and-gas companies is becoming evident. Water supply agreements between miners and water suppliers, like SaskWater or a SASK WATERmunicipality, are becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate. The water supply agreement is a critical agreement to provide a certain amount of water at a set price. There are very significant risks for potash solution mines, which use water to operate if water supply is curtailed or discontinued. Oil companies are having to travel further and pay more for water for fracking. Intensive livestock and increased spraying (which uses fresh water) in Saskatchewan are also putting pressure on water supplies. There are a number of innovative projects in the province to mitigate these risks. Oil-and-gas companies are starting to use treated wastewater for their fracking operations. SELLING WASTEWATERMunicipalities in Alberta and Saskatchewan are now selling treated wastewater to oil companies. The treated wastewater can come from lagoons or from grey water discharge. This is a new revenue stream for municipalities and increases WESTERN POTASH LOGOthe certainty of water supply for oil-and-gas companies. Western Potash Corp.’s new potash mine in Milestone, Saskatchewan recently received environmental REGINAassessment approval for the facility, including the use of City of Regina treated effluent as the industrial water source for its solution mining process. The water is purified to prevent foaming or scaling. This is the first potash mine in the world to use treated water. CANADA MAPIt is expected the discussion between farmers and extractors of natural resources will continue in Saskatchewan and across Canada, with innovative technologies and agreements providing a way forward.

CHAD EGGERMANChad Eggerman is a partner in the Saskatoon office of Miller Thomson LLP and assists owners and contractors to develop projects in the natural resource industry

 

Advertisements

FRACKING HELL ~ A CATASTROPHE!

WHAT IS FRACKING?
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of forcing
natural gas or oil from rock layer deep below the earth’s surface.

FRACKING

 FRACKING4HOW FRACKING WORKS:
1) A pressurized mixture of sand, water and chemicals is injected into a horizontally drilled well.
2) The mix cracks the shale and fills the cracks with sandy grit allowing natural gas to flow up the well.
3) The recovered water is stored in lined pits or taken to a treatment plant. 

Hydraulic Fracturing: How it works”, YouTube video uploaded  by Imperial Oil , Sept. 19, 2012 ~

“Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking)”, a YouTube video was published on Apr 26, 2012 ~

ALASKA FRACKING:… ALASKA MAP2Alaska is a major component in fracking and it is big in the future. Alaska has around 2 billion barrels of oil and 80 trillion cubic feet of gas. This is enough to fill the Alaska pipeline for 12 decades. The wells of Alaska are located in two areas. The biggest spot for the fracking to occur is the North Slope, where most of the wells are… The other area of fracking takes place in the Kenai Peninsula on the South coast of Alaska… Not only can gas and oil be extracted from fracking, but so can 500 million barrels of recoverable natural gas. This recoverable natural gas comes from the North area. Alaska fracking is a good way to extract oil because it can cover many wells at one time, making the process less expensive… because the fracking takes place in the north part of Alaska, there is no human harm done because it does not take place in developed areas, where many people normally live. Fracking in Alaska takes place in the undeveloped areas.

FRACKING  IS CONTROVERSIAL AND HARMFUL:
FRACKING5Around 25% of the oil extraction in Alaska uses fracking… Alaska fracking can be harmful to the environment as well as the animals because it puts chemicals in water that harms these two. This is why Alaska fracking has been a controversial topic for many years. Because of this, there have been hearings for new laws and regulations for this type of oil extraction in Alaska. FRACKING9These types of laws and regulations, if passed, would be very strict. Some of the regulations could involve oil extraction companies giving more information about the chemicals used that could potentially harm any areas containing water. The contamination of water can cause a lot of problems in the future for Alaska.

EARTHNEWEARTHQUAKES, CHEMICALCHEMICAL SPILLS,

TOXIC DRINKING WATER

RADIOACTIVEAND RADIOACTIVE WASTE

DUMPING,

AND THE LIST GOES ON……!!!

A MUST SEE ~ The following YouTube video, “Fracking Hell: The Untold Story”, uploaded on Jan 11, 2011 by LinkTV.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_fracking

BRITISH COLUMBIA – 100 YEAR WATER ACT UPDATE

The following excerpts are taken from the September/October issue of Water Canada‘s magazine article by Rick Williams and Luke Dineley. 

Read the full article at: http://watercanada.net/2012/turn-of-the-century/

British Columbia has plans to update its 100-year-old Water Act and finally regulate groundwater use… It’s almost impossible nowadays to open a newspaper… without finding at least one article or report focussing on the criticisms of shale gas development, particularly as it relates to the heavy reliance on water… Concerns over water are the forefront of the debate on multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’), the key technology behind the recent shale gas boom.  in British Columbia, an over 100-year-old (…outdated) Water Act is seen by some as an impediment to water protection in the province.

The stated objective of the proposed Water Sustainability Act is to focus the legislative framework on risk, competing demands, and scarcity of water, and to implement an area-based approach to water management… policy goals include: protecting aquatic environments, regulating groundwater use, regulating use during scarcity, improving security, water-use efficiency and conservation…

The Water Sustainability Act will differentiate between groundwater users making large withdrawals. Regulation of large groundwater users will be stricter: all existing and new large groundwater users will be required to obtain a licence…smaller groundwater users, by contrast will not be required to obtain a license…The categorization of a large withdrawal is … expected to be in the range of 250 to 500 cubic metres per day for wells in unconsolidated aquifers, and 100 cubic metres per day for wells in bedrock aquifers… after a long process, the Province has indicated that it is moving to bring the proposed Water Sustainability Act in the legislature… time is running short.  With the next provincial election set for  May 2013… whether it is the proposed Water Sustainability Act , the Water Act will be replaced….

Conservation, Efficiency and Security of Water in BC is discussed in the latest blog for the Living Water Smart blog. Join the conversation here: http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart

Living Water Smart Team member Ted White explains the Water Sustainability Act framework and invites you to participate in building a sustainable future for British Columbia’s water. This video outlines the seven key proposed policy directions: Protect stream health and aquatic environments, Consider water in land-use decisions, Regulate groundwater use, Regulate during scarcity, Improve security, water use efficiency and conservation, Measure and report water use, Enable a range of governance approaches. To comment on the WSA, and to join the conversation on the proposed Water Sustainability Act, visit http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart

In the Living Water Smart blog, Ted White asks for your comments on governance approaches around water sustainability. Join the conversation here: http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart

WATER POLLUTION THREAT TO CHINA’S POPULATION

Metro Basin Blues

Water pollution poses a real threat to china’s northern, urban population. Could constructed wetlands help? 

The following excerpts are taken from Water Canada Magazine, September/October publication.

Around the globe, there is concern about the effects of china’s rapid economic development on the air, land, water, and energy resources, as well as the ways that the country’s complex and sometimes less-than-efficient bureaucratic system may impact environmental policy implementation. the most serious of these challenges have been linked to the country’s declining water supply, which not only suffers from considerable pollutants, but also is insufficient for the country’s massive population and rapidly growing economy.  Water pollution is rampant nationwide, while water scarcity has worsened severely in north china. the problem is not only environmental— insufficient water is already limiting industrial and agricultural output in some areas. If solutions are not found and implemented, scarcity threatens to negatively impact china’s high economic growth rate and food production.

Treating China’s wastewater: Centralized wastewater treatment systems are the prevailing solution for water pollution control in many industrialized countries. to a large degree, this approach solves the problems of sanitation very efficiently. However, at the end of 2002, the official rate of municipal wastewater treatment in china was approximately 36.5 per cent, which is far from adequate given China’s serious water pollution.  Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment have great potential for application in china. the biogeochemical cycles of wetland plants can help transform and mineralized organic matter found in wastewater.  over the last 100 years, we’ve learned how these processes work, and recognized that many could be replicated with CWs. they’re now viewed as a viable treatment option for many different waste streams, including municipal, mining, dairy and wine-making. they’re also an attractive and stable alternative due to cost and energy savings. additionally, there are the advantages of multi-purpose reuse of the resulting high quality effluent, as well as self-remediation and self-adaptation to the surrounding conditions and environment.

Case study: Tianjin Airport Economic development Zone:  Two mega cities of china, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the Hubei Provinces are within the region of the HaiHe river basin. the HaiHe river basin contains 10 per cent of the entire population of china, which is about 118 million people, as well as being the main source for providing fresh water to Beijing and Tianjin (Domagalski et al., 2001). this basin is facing a decrease in water levels during low precipitation leading to drought and water shortage during the dry season. It also faces serious contamination problem—the annual amount of wastewater discharged into the rivers is about four billion megagrams, and is also a major contributor to pollutant loadings in the nearby Bohai sea (Domagalski et al., 2001).

Located southeast of Beijing, Tianjin is the sixth-largest city in China (greater metropolitan population of 13,000,000). considered the economic hub of Tianjin, the Binhai new area is a new zone designated to host a number of key industrial zones, waterfront development areas, and commercial and residential properties, for nearly two million people. the region is a representation of china’s objective to modernize its coastal cities while promoting economic development.

Due to the severe impacts of urban development on water quality in Binhai new area, Tianjin, and the HaiHe river basin, the proposed solution is the implementation of two CWs at TaedZ. In collaboration with Tianjin University (TJU), Lindsay, Ontario’s Centre For Alternative Wastewater treatment at Fleming college (CAWT), Queen’s University in Kingston, and aqua treatment technologies, this location has been selected as a demonstration site for wetlands technology in a rapidly developing urban area, to address the issues of surface water degradation… China’s diverse climate and sources of wastewater allow for unique research conditions and a variety of parameters to be addressed simultaneously that would not be possible in another location.  In addition, China’s economic growth conditions add to the innovative nature of the project, and allow for new developments while taking into consideration social issues. after extensive applications in similar geographic and climatic regions in Canada such as the prairie region and southwestern Ontario, the technology may eventually benefit Canadian communities as well. 

Annie Chouinard is a graduate student in the department of civil engineering at Queen’s University.  She is conducting research in China at TJU.

WATER DAY CANADA 2012

MAKE A SPLASH ON WORLD WATER DAY!

March 22 is World Water Day, and to mark this day, the Council of Canadians is encouraging chapters to take action for water in their community. As you know, there are few things more important than clean, safe water.

But corporate control of drinking water, the growth of the bottled water industry, pollution from mining companies and fracking projects,

and water shortages from droughts and over-extractions are all part of a growing global water crisis.

In Canada, our government has failed to safeguard our water by refusing to implement a National Water Policy to protect and conserve it.

The Canadian government also shamefully ignores the human right to water and sanitation, which was recognized by the United Nations in July 2010.

But you can make a difference. The fight for public water is happening now. Across Canada people are rejecting the co-modification and privatization of water, and are raising awareness of the importance of clean, safe accessible public water for all.

Join us in marking the importance of World Water Day by organizing a water-themed event in your community. Be sure to let us know about your World Water Day activities so we can highlight them on our website. E-mail your event details to webmaster@canadians.org. And don’t forget to check out our resources and publications to help inform people and raise awareness.

Here are some ideas for how you can take action on World Water Day:

1) Take action for the right to water.

On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly agreed to a resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.” Appallingly, the Canadian government abstained from the vote even though there are many communities across Canada, including First Nations, which do not have access to clean, safe water. Take action and help us apply the political pressure needed to make the right to water and sanitation a reality in Canada!

•Join us in putting pressure on the federal government. Download a copy of the “Appeal to Parliamentarians on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation” letter and our Parliamentarian Pledge on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Arrange a meeting with your elected Member of Parliament and ask them to sign the pledge. Be sure to send a copy to inquiries@canadians.org so we can add your MP’s name to a list of supportive politicians on our website.

•Visit your local city council and ask them to pass a resolution supporting the right to water. Check out page 5 of our Blue Communities Project booklet for more information and a sample resolution.

2) Say “Don’t frack our water!”

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” is a drilling technique used to extract natural gas from hard to access sources. Massive amounts of water mixed with chemicals and sand are injected at a high rate of pressure into rock formations. The process has been known to contaminate nearby drinking water sources, and concerns have been raised about the safety of the contaminated wastewater from the projects. There are many ways you can help protect our water from fracking:

•Find out if there is a fracking operation in your community and send us an e-mail so we can add it to our “Fracker Tracker,” a web tool that maps frocking projects across the country.

•Help raise awareness by setting up an information booth in your community.

•Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

•Visit your local council and convince politicians to protect water by passing a municipal resolution that puts a moratorium on fracking.

•Garner public support by getting signatures on a “Don’t Frack Our Water” petition.

3) Call for a bottled water ban in your community.

More than 60 communities across Canada have said “no” to bottled water. Canada has one of the best drinking water systems in the world, but the bottled water industry has worked hard to undermine our faith in public water. The industry sells water – what should be a shared public resource – for huge profits. Producing and transporting bottled water requires large amounts of fossil fuels, and plastic water bottles continue to end up by the millions in local landfills. Take a stand against bottled water in your community by:

•Call on your municipal council to ban bottled water in public places. For more information and a sample resolution, see page 9 of our Blue Communities Project Guide.

•Get creative and design a public display that demonstrates how many empty water bottles end up in landfills each year.

•Click here to read more about how we can all “Unbottle it!”

TAKE THE TAP WATER PLEDGE:

http://canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/petition/index.php

 

The Council of Canadians is also a partner in the Coalition for Bottled Water-Free Communities, which is encouraging school boards, organizations and people across Canada to go bottled water free on March 15. Go here to join the campaign.

4) Be a part of the fight against water privatization at the World Water Forum.

The World Water Forum (WWF) claims to be a democratic, multi-stakeholder platform for governments, civil society, academics and industry on global water issues, but past forums have shown that in fact, they are dominated by a handful of multinational food and water corporations with a strong agenda of privatization and corporate control of water.

The Council of Canadians has been challenging World Water Forum agendas for more than 12 years. We will be at the upcoming World Water Forum March 12-17 in Marseille, France, and the Alternative World Water Forum (in French, Forum Alternative Mondial de l’Eau, or FAME), which will take place on March 14-17, 2012, speaking out against the efforts of corporations and governments to privatize water. Visit our World Water Forum webpage to find out more.

5) Make a splash in the media.

Writing a letter to the editor or opinion column for your community newspaper is a great way to share information about local water issues. Whether it’s exposing water privatization, pollution, or encouraging people to dump bottled water in favour of public tap water, help raise awareness by getting water issues in the news on World Water Day.

Join us on March 22 and we can all make a difference for water in our communities!