Lesson 8: Environment Issues - Water Resources & Management


As society’s energy demands grow there has been a significant increase in the development of unconventional shale energy resources in the United States. Development and production of these resources requires relatively large volumes of water in the hydraulic fracturing process, which also generates brine along with the hydrocarbons. In this lesson we will learn about water resources and management for shale energy development including the following main topics:

  • Water resource availability
  • Drinking water quality
  • The water-energy nexus
  • Water management practices for shale energy production
  • Potential water quality impacts with shale energy

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
  • Appreciate the availability of water resources and drinking water quality
  • Understand water use for unconventional energy production
  • Recognize potential water quality impact pathways with shale energy development and how to prevent them with best management practices
  • Discuss water resource issues surrounding shale development with colleagues

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson Roadmap
To Read List reading assignments Location
To Do
  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2
  • Activity 3
  • Submission Location 1
  • Submission Location 2
  • Submission Location 3


If you have questions, or need further references you may contact Penn State hydrogeologist Dave Yoxtheimer, at the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute. His email address is day122@psu.edu.