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Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030940

Water Availability Assessment of Shale Gas Production in the Weiyuan Play, China

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Key Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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State Key Laboratory of Water Resources & Hydropower Engineering Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430000, China
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PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing 100083, China
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Yangtze Valley Water Environment Monitoring Center, Wuhan 430010, China
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract

Innovations and improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well technologies have contributed to the success of the shale gas industry; however, the industry is also challenged by freshwater use and environmental health issues, and this makes precise quantification of water consumption important. The objective of this study was to better understand water sustainability and availability of the projected shale gas from 2018 to 2030 in the Weiyuan play, China. The water footprint framework was used to quantify the potential water use and environmental impacts on different time scales. The results showed that the water use per well ranged from 11,300 to 60,660 m3, with a median of 36,014 m3, totaling ~ 3.44 Mm3 for 97 wells. Yearly evaluation results showed that the gray water footprint was the main contributor and accounted for 83.82% to 96.76%, which was dependent on the different treatment percentage scenario. The monthly environmental impact results indicated that the annual streamflow statistics were more likely to prevent water withdrawal. Water quality issues may be alleviated through recycling and retreatment measures that improve current waste water management strategies. Resource regulators should manage their water resources by matching water demand to water availability or replenishment. View Full-Text
Keywords: water availability; shale gas; water sustainability; Weiyuan play water availability; shale gas; water sustainability; Weiyuan play
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Wu, X.; Xia, J.; Guan, B.; Yan, X.; Zou, L.; Liu, P.; Yang, L.; Hong, S.; Hu, S. Water Availability Assessment of Shale Gas Production in the Weiyuan Play, China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 940.

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