The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires the injection of specific mixtures of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, a key concern around shale extraction. A recent study examined the movement of these fracturing fluids in groundwater.
Integrating traditional practices with modern mechanized agriculture is one way of improving yields and reducing the environmental impact associated with agriculture in developed nations, but policy incentives will likely be required to encourage a meaningful shift in the industry.
Although exhibited in different ways, similar forces drive water management decisions in Israel and in Arizona. Understanding these motivating factors is crucial when developing successful and effective water management approaches.
Multiplied by hundreds of wells, total shale gas use in the Wattenberg Shale in northeastern Colorado is in the vicinity of a billion gallons or more — and in a basin that is actively seeking new water sources to meet existing demand.
A new model suggests it may be possible to feed the world's growing population with minimal environmental impact, but doing so will require targeted policies to reduce food waste and incentives towards healthier diets in industrialized nations.