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New policy brief examines water management institutions and their role in shale gas development

Posted: December 11, 2014

The National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center has issued a new policy brief that takes an in-depth look at the multi-state river basin institutions in the Northeast and the North Central U.S. that govern water use for the development of shale gas through unconventional extraction methods.

The brief, titled "Regional Water Management Institutions and Unconventional Gas Development in the Northeast/North Central U.S.," is available as a PDF here. 

Summary: Unconventional technologies for shale gas extraction depend on water as an input and produce many water-related outcomes. Water management institutions and regulations direct firms’ water use and influence the magnitude and pattern of environmental and economic impacts from shale development. This policy brief identifies features of multi-state river basin institutions in the Northeast and the North Central U.S. that govern water use for the development of shale gas through unconventional extraction methods. This brief assesses these institutions’ effects upon private and public decisions, resulting outcomes in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale regions, and highlights public policy issues and challenges.

The National Agricultural & Rural Development Policy Center (NARDeP) is organized by the Regional Rural Development Centers to provide information about the increasingly contentious and complex rural policy issues facing the U.S.