Protecting Water, Producing Gas

Minimizing the Impact of Coalbed Methane and Other natural Gas production on Alberta's Groundwater

Protecting Water, Producing Gas examines the basis for landowner concerns that seismic exploration, drilling wells, fracturing shallow formations and removal of water from fresh water aquifers could impact water wells. The report summarizes government regulations to protect non-saline groundwater, especially with respect to coalbed methane production, but also covers conventional natural gas, shale gas and tight gas. It includes best management practices, which landowners can negotiate with industry, and recommends additional measures government should take to better protect shallow groundwater. An appendix outlines how gas composition and isotopic analysis can help identify the source of gas in water wells.