The Induced Seismicity Workgroup held a webinar to rollout the current draft to all workgroup members and begin the final review process. The release of the final primer is scheduled for the end of September to coincide with the GWPC Annual Forum.
UIC Peer Review
The first peer review of a Class II UIC program under the revised peer review program is scheduled for the last week in August and will be conducted for the Utah Division of Oil and Gas.
GWPC Annual Forum preliminary agenda released
The GWPC is co-locating our Annual Forum with the National Rural Water Association and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission this September in Oklahoma City. A preliminary agenda which includes current abstracts is now available on the GWPC Web site.
World's groundwater supplies draining fast, NASA study says
Weeds grow in dry cracked earth that used to be the bottom of Lake McClure in LaGrange, Ca. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The world’s groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates, according to a new NASA study. Using a new approach -- employing satellite data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) -- NASA researchers concluded that 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are being depleted faster than they can recharge, posing a long-term threat to the world’s freshwater supply, according to the study released Tuesday.
EPA issues final human health ambient water quality criteria
The U.S. EPA published updated national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of human health for 94 chemical pollutants. These 2015 criteria reflect the latest scientific information and EPA policies, including updated body weight, drinking water consumption rate, fish consumption rate, bioaccumulation factors, health toxicity values, and relative source contributions. EPA water quality criteria serve as recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards for surface waters under the Clean Water Act. Read More.
EPA National Water Program releases 2015 workplan
The U.S. EPA released actions the National Water Program plans to take in 2015 to implement the "EPA National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change". The 2012 strategy describes long-term goals for the management of sustainable water resources in light of climate change. It is intended to be a roadmap to guide program planning and inform decision-makers during the agency's planning and budgeting process. The 2015 workplan builds on work conducted in 2012-2014 and is structured around five long-term programmatic areas: water infrastructure; watersheds and wetlands; coastal and ocean waters; water quality; and working with Tribes.
In June 2015, the U.S. EPA issued the 2015 underground storage tank regulation and the 2015 state program approval regulation. The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination, and will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988. Find out more.
Forest Service withdraws proposed groundwater directive
After several recent high-profile interactions with Congress, where members questioned the intent of the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) proposed directive on groundwater, USFS formally withdrew the directive on June 19. The directive was criticized by some in Congress who perceived it as federal government overreach into state issues.
Chris Carlson, USFS Groundwater Program Leader, stated: “By withdrawing the proposed directive, the agency is hoping to be able to continue important conversations with states, tribes and others with a clean slate. The withdrawal does mean the agency will continue to make decisions about its activities and those of others on the national forests and grasslands that could affect groundwater resources without the structure contained in the proposed directive for some time to come.” USFS is permitted to re-propose a directive in the future, although it is unclear if or when that will occur.
New study identifies organic compounds of potential concern in fracing fluids
(Oil & Gas Online)
A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use.
Using a fast groundwater transport scenario, the team predicted that 41 of the 659 organic compounds screened would have 10 percent or more of their initial concentrations remaining at a transport distance of roughly 300 feet. That is the average state “setback” distance in the United States between a fracking well and a drinking water well, said CU-Boulder Professor Joseph Ryan, the principal investigator on the study. Read More.
California senate passes groundwater data bill
(Circle of Blue)
The California Senate passed SB 20 by a vote of 21-15 on June 1, requiring public access to the groundwater information well drillers file with the state’s Department of Water Resources after completing a well.
Prior to the legislation, only government agencies and well owners could view the logs. After numerous failed legislative attempts to make this information public, the severity of California’s drought emergency helped change the bill’s outcome. Read more.
Here’s the only explainer on California drought you need
(The Daily Grist)
Pretty much every state west of the Rockies has been facing a water shortage of one kind or another in recent years. California’s is a severe, but relatively short-term, drought. But the Colorado River basin — which provides critical water supplies for seven states including California — is the victim of a slower-burning catastrophe entering its 16th year. Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California all share water from the Colorado River, a hugely important water resource that sustains 40 million people in those states, supports 15 percent of the nation’s food supply, and fills two of largest water reserves in the country. Read More.
North Carolina requires closure of coal ash ponds by Duke Energy
In a separate regulatory action by the State of North Carolina under the Coal Ash Management Act, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will require the closure of all of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds and elimination of all discharges from coal ash ponds in North Carolina. Until the closure plans are formulated and approved, DENR is pursuing an interim step of ensuring that existing discharges, some of which are necessary to ensure the integrity of the dams, do not compromise the water quality of the state’s lakes and rivers.
In addition, DENR hired private labs to test all water supply wells within 1,500 feet of each of Duke Energy's 14 coal-fired electrical generating facility boundaries be sampled. If DENR determines that groundwater standards in water supply wells have been exceeded and that a coal ash pond is the source, state law requires that the Duke Energy provides the resident with an alternative water supply.
Information gathered during this investigation will be used to guide the successful closure of the coal ash basins. Well testing costs are paid by Duke Energy.
Dairies' to get $1.4M in state funding to reduce nitrate waste
(The Gainsville Sun)
The Suwannee River Water Management District and the state of Florida will use $1.4 million in public money to fund projects to reduce the flow of nitrates into groundwater at seven north Florida dairies in the Santa Fe River and Suwannee River basins.
The majority of the projects that the district's Governing Board approved on June 9 involve the expansion of the on-site ponds and lagoons that store cow waste the dairies use as fertilizer on the crops the cows eat. The dairies will be able to fertilize less often to keep the ponds from filling, reducing the amount of nitrates seeping into the ground and groundwater, said Kevin Wright, a professional engineer with the district. Full Story
AgriScience makes smart soil to improve farming
The use of fertilizers in agriculture has been a hotly debated subject, as the excess nitrogen and phosphate that isn't absorbed by the crops typically makes its way into the groundwater.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that this type of nutrient pollution is quickly becoming the U.S.'s largest concern regarding water quality; it is currently the largest contributor to the Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone," a hypoxic area of water stretching about 5,800 square miles.
However, AgriScience Inc. (ASI), says it has developed a viable solution that would reduce the amount of agricultural run-off that farmers produce all while increasing their crop yields. Read More.
GWPC Annual Forum
Oklahoma City, OK
September 27th-30th, 2015
Courtyard by Marriott-Bricktown