Water Resource Reporting and Water Footprint from Marcellus Shale Development in West Virginia and Pennsylvania Evan Hansen, Dustin Mulvaney, and Meghan Betcher

www.downstreamstrategies.com/documents/reports_publication/marcellus_wv_pa.pdf.

Water Resource Reporting and Water Footprint

from Marcellus Shale Development

in West Virginia and Pennsylvania

Evan Hansen, Dustin Mulvaney, and Meghan Betcher

Oct. 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Growing Competitive Pressures for Water — Ceres

Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Growing Competitive Pressures for Water — Ceres.

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5282: Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River Valley-Fill Aquifer System and Adjacent Areas in Eastern Broome and Southeastern Chenango Counties, New York

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5282: Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River Valley-Fill Aquifer System and Adjacent Areas in Eastern Broome and Southeastern Chenango Counties, New York.

Prepared in cooperation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna River Valley-Fill Aquifer System and Adjacent Areas in Eastern Broome and Southeastern Chenango Counties, New York

By Paul M. Heisig

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.56 MB)Abstract

The hydrogeology of the valley-fill aquifer system along a 32-mile reach of the Susquehanna River valley and adjacent areas was evaluated in eastern Broome and southeastern Chenango Counties, New York. The surficial geology, inferred ice-marginal positions, and distribution of stratified-drift aquifers were mapped from existing data. Ice-marginal positions, which represent pauses in the retreat of glacial ice from the region, favored the accumulation of coarse-grained deposits whereas more steady or rapid ice retreat between these positions favored deposition of fine-grained lacustrine deposits with limited coarse-grained deposits at depth. Unconfined aquifers with thick saturated coarse-grained deposits are the most favorable settings for water-resource development, and three several-mile-long sections of valley were identified (mostly in Broome County) as potentially favorable: (1) the southernmost valley section, which extends from the New York–Pennsylvania border to about 1 mile north of South Windsor, (2) the valley section that rounds the west side of the umlaufberg (an isolated bedrock hill within a valley) north of Windsor, and (3) the east–west valley section at the Broome County–Chenango County border from Nineveh to East of Bettsburg (including the lower reach of the Cornell Brook valley). Fine-grained lacustrine deposits form extensive confining units between the unconfined areas, and the water-resource potential of confined aquifers is largely untested.

Recharge, or replenishment, of these aquifers is dependent not only on infiltration of precipitation directly on unconfined aquifers, but perhaps more so from precipitation that falls in adjacent upland areas. Surface runoff and shallow groundwater from the valley walls flow downslope and recharge valley aquifers. Tributary streams that drain upland areas lose flow as they enter main valleys on permeable alluvial fans. This infiltrating water also recharges valley aquifers.

Current (2012) use of water resources in the area is primarily through domestic wells, most of which are completed in fractured bedrock in upland areas. A few villages in the Susquehanna River valley have supply wells that draw water from beneath alluvial fans and near the Susquehanna River, which is a large potential source of water from induced infiltration.

First posted February 20, 2013

  • Appendix 1 XLS (864 kB)
    Well data for Susquehanna River valley and adjacent uplands, eastern Broome and southeastern Chenango Counties, New York.
  • Plate 1 html
    Hydrogeology of the Susquehanna valley-fill aquifer system and adjacent areas in eastern Broome and southeastern Chenango Counties, New York

For additional information contact:
Director
U.S. Geological Survey
New York Water Science Center
425 Jordan Road
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 285-5600
http://ny.water.usgs.gov

COMMENTS
What the USGS are saying is that these three regions/locations are prime for “developers” (AKA drillers) to sink MAJOR water wells to supply frack operations. This paper relates to what I heard a Senior SRBS scientist present last year, that SRBC was quite concerned that as gas drilling moved North from PA it would be getting to the “headwaters regions (low water volume) of the Susq and other rivers and thus they anticipated more emphasis by the drillers to use groundwater for their fracking uses.
This directly goes to the issue of impacts on water quantity of residential and public water wells; that is what will a big mother of a “comercial” well by a driller do to the QUANTITY of water available from your private well.  In other words, will your water well dry up?
This is an issue that is NOT adressed at all in NYS draft regs OR the rdSGEIS – only pre-drill baseline testing of wells near(1000ft) a proposed well pad need be tested by the driller for QUALITY.
The potential impact on private property values is clear; mitigation by drilling a private well deeper would probably work, although I dont know enoug hydrology to float a boat, so to speak.
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“Unconfined aquifers with thick saturated coarse-grained deposits are the most favorable settings for water-resource development, and three several-mile-long sections of valley were identified (mostly in Broome County) as potentially favorable: (1) the southernmost valley section, which extends from the New York–Pennsylvania border to about 1 mile north of South Windsor, (2) the valley section that rounds the west side of the umlaufberg (an isolated bedrock hill within a valley) north of Windsor, and (3) the east–west valley section at the Broome County–Chenango County border from Nineveh to East of Bettsburg (including the lower reach of the Cornell Brook valley).”
————————————
Finally, this water source/quantity issue will apply equally to regions further north of the NY/PA border, and one hope USGS is studying such; remember, drilling a bit north likely wont be marcellus but rather the deeper Utica Shale.
S
Stan Scobie, Binghamton, NY, 607-669-4683

Putting Local Aquifer Protections in Place in New York. Rachel Treichler

Texas Oil Boom Promises 20,000 New Jobs but Also Water and Electricity Shortages – NYTimes.com

Texas Oil Boom Promises 20,000 New Jobs but Also Water and Electricity Shortages – NYTimes.com.

Fracking Water Withdrawals Suspended Due to Drought « EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

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How Energy Drains Water Supplies – NYTimes.com

How Energy Drains Water Supplies – NYTimes.com.