Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $2,812 Total Non-Federal Funds: $5,624
Principal Investigators: Zhulu Lin
Abstract: From 2008 to 2013, unconventional oil production from Bakken Shale of western North Dakota increased nearly ten-fold. Since 2012 North Dakota has become the nations second largest oil producing states behind only Texas. Although unconventional oil production uses less water than conventional oil production per unit of energy, the cumulative water needs for unconventional oil production due to multiple drilling and fracturing operations may be locally or temporally significant. In western North Dakota, except for the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea, the storage of surface waters and shallow aquifers is limited and subject to drought condition. Much of the states surface waters and shallow aquifers are fully or nearly fully appropriated. To better manage the regions surface water and groundwater resources, it is imperative to have a good understanding of the water demand from hydraulic fracturing and its current and future impacts on regional water resources. Research to estimate hydraulic fracturing water use in the Bakken and to analyze its current and future impacts on regional water resources is proposed. Specific objectives include: 1) Estimate hydraulic fracturing water use in the Bakken and assessing its impacts on regional water resources; and 2) Develop an agent-based model to better understand the water depot based water allocation system in western North Dakota.