Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018ND348B

An Integrated Social and Ecological Model for Stream Flow Simulation

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Zhulu Lin

Abstract: Unconventional oil production at the Bakken Shale of western North Dakota has greatly increased nearly ten-fold from 2008 to 2014. During this period, Bakken Shale drilled approximately 10,000 horizontal wells and their average water use was around 2.0 10^6 gal/well. The average annual 7-day low flows of the 9 major streams, that supplied water for hydraulic fracking (HF) in western North Dakota, had increased during 2008 -2014 compared to that of 2000 -2007. This phenomena is mainly because the region received approximately 20% more precipitation than normal during 2008 to 2014. However, if the precipitation remains normal or dries up, the increasing HF water demands could be stressful to regional surface water resources. For addressing these potential HF water stress to the regional surface water resources, we will develop a two-step project. First, we will develop a SWAT model to simulate the hydrological process of Little Muddy River, the most frequently used HF surface water source besides Missouri River in the Bakken shale. In the second step, we will integrate an agent based model with the SWAT model to simulate the changes on discharge of Little Muddy River with predicted HF water use information under different precipitation scenarios.