University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Water Quantity

Water is unavoidable in every phase of oil and gas development. Varying quantities and qualities of water are both produced and used during development. On one hand, the use of large quantities of water for well stimulation, particularly high-volume hydraulic fracturing, poses legal and practical water quantity problems. On the other hand, the water produced during oil and gas development, which has traditionally been viewed as a waste product, may represent an underexploited water resource.

Browse the Water Quantity BMPs in the database.

Classification of Water

Surface water, ground water, and oil and gas water uses are defined.

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Water Rights

The Prior Appropriations doctrine governs Intermountain states' water rights for most uses.

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Water Management

Understanding the lifecycle of water in oil and gas development is critical to environmental protection.

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Conservation Issues

Conservation of development water is especially important in semi-arid areas.

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Challenges of Tracking Water

Tracking water consumption for oil and gas development is complex.

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US Map

State by State Regulations

Compare state regulation of water use for oil and gas.

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Last substantive additions to Water Quantity pages: 05/12/2017
Last minor updates: 05/12/2017