CIWEM Reviews Impact of Shale Gas Exploration on Water
CIWEM have published an independent review of shale gas exploration and exploitation in the UK, with a particular focus on the implications for the water environment.
As part of their assessment of the risks, the CIWEM report highlights:
‘The importance of baseline monitoring cannot be overstated. Regulators must ensure that an environmental baseline is fully established before any commencement of drilling activity and this should include both deep and shallow aquifers for radio-nuclides and other contaminants. Full details of the environmental monitoring programme should be disclosed.’
‘The long-term monitoring of relative conditions to the environmental baseline in the vicinity of the well and nearby receptors throughout the lifetime of the well will be important to detect any contaminants. In developing production guidance, parameters on the frequency, locations and time scale of measurements should be included.’
The report further recommends such monitoring should be carried out throughout the lifetime of development, including production and post-production.