Further Explorations in the Energy-Water Nexus
The exploration for and production of oil and gas to meet our nation's energy needs also results in the production of large quantities of water as a by-product. This water, which is produced from wells during exploration and production, is known as "produced water." Because produced water may contain a variety of contaminants, such as salts and minerals, it is often considered to be a waste stream that oil and gas producers must appropriately manage and treat before this water can be disposed of. If it is not appropriately managed or treated, the contaminants present in produced water discharged from oil and gas operations may threaten human health and the environment. This book explores the inextricable link between energy production and water with a focus on what is known about the volume and quality of produced water from oil and gas production; what practices are generally used to manage and treat produced water; and how the management of produced water is regulated at the federal level and in selected states.