Abstract for:Modeling Water Sustainability effects on Resource Extraction in the New Mexico Permian Basin
Advancements in directional drilling and well completion technologies have resulted in an exponential growth in the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction. Within the New Mexico Permian Basin, water demand to complete each hydraulically fractured well is estimated to average 7.3 acre-feet (2.4 million gallons), resulting in an increase to the regional water demand of over 5000 acre-feet per year. This rising demand is creating concern for the region’s ability to meet demand in a manner that fulfills the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) role of protecting human health and the environment while sustainably meeting the various needs of water users in the region. This presentation provides a summary of the study that developed the modeling tool, PBWater, to aid the BLM based on the data collection and analysis efforts that established a water-level and chemistry baseline for this region. The modeling tool assists users to understand the regional water supply dynamics under different management, policy, and growth scenarios and to pre-emptively identify risks to water sustainability.