BGS Study maps of fracking methane risk to drinking water

03Jul / 2014

BGS Study maps of fracking methane risk to drinking water

A major study into the potential of fracking to contaminate drinking water with methane has been published. The British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency have mapped where key aquifers in England and Wales coincide with locations of shale.

The research reveals this occurs under nearly half of the area containing the principal natural stores of water. The risk of methane being released into drinking water has long been one of the most sensitive questions over fracking.

Dr Rob Ward, director of groundwater science at the BGS, said the aim was to provide a baseline understanding before any fracking starts.

“In the United States, they didn’t carry out a baseline survey before the industry took place and that has resulted in controversy and uncertainty about the source of methane in drinking water,” he said.

“We now have a window of opportunity to collect data on methane before any industry goes ahead. If we see increases in methane in groundwater which may be attributed to shale gas, we’ll be able to spot those.”

Here is a link to the BBC article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28130982

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