The use of water in hydraulic fracturing to unlock natural gas trapped in shale formations has brought the water-energy nexus to the fore. In 2014 CIWEM published a review of the implications for the water environment with ten recommendations for action. Although exploration has not progressed in the UK during this time, there have been considerable developments in legislation, policy and regulation.
This report provides an update for 2016, reviewing the latest publicly available evidence to assess the likely viability, scale and timing of shale gas exploitation in the UK. From consultation with experts, it then considers if an industry of any significant scale were to develop, what the implications of hydraulic fracturing of shale would be for water resources, water treatment and the water environment. In this context, the report also considers the suitability of the current and expected future regulatory requirements for mitigating the industry’s potential impacts on the environment.Download summary report on Shale Gas and Water 2016 Download full report on Shale Gas and Water 2016