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Development of an interactive vulnerability map and monitoring framework to assess the potential environmental impact of unconventional oil and gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing
Expanded Title:The main aims of this study was to investigate hydraulic fracturing by performing a background review; developing an interactive vulnerability map; and developing a provisional screening level monitoring protocol. This study aimed to contribute knowledge on issues associated with hydraulic fracturing and highlight vulnerable areas for specific aspects in South Africa. It also proposes a provisional screening level monitoring protocol that can be used as a guideline to monitor unconventional gas extraction activities. In South Africa, where water demand will exceed water supply in the near future, unsustainable use of water resources will result in increasingly limited water resources for future health and well-being as well as for sustained socio-economic development. Society in general, and specifically the residents in the Karoo where access to water is already limited, needs to be assured of the sustainable use of the water resources for health and well-being by understanding and where possible avoiding the negative social impacts resulting from unconventional gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing. The interactive vulnerability map that was developed during this project, focuses on specific aspects, which include surface water, groundwater, vegetation, seismicity and socio-economics, and was developed specifically for South Africa. The vulnerability map aims to provide decision-makers at national level and other practitioners by providing information on the vulnerability to unconventional gas extraction of the specified mapping themes on a regional scale. The vulnerability map was developed by using experts in their respective fields to decide on indicators that would indicate vulnerability of a theme to unconventional gas extraction specifically. Only regional scale data was used for this regional map and the map cannot replace local scale maps that may need to be developed to inform decision-makers of local scale conditions of vulnerability to unconventional gas extraction. This map is intended as a reconnaissance tool to inform decision-makers on areas where additional detail field work and assessments may be required as part of Environmental Impact Assessment and licensing conditions.
Date Published:01/10/2014
Document Type:Research Report
Document Keywords:Environment, Hydrology, Technology
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2149/1/14
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0589-9
Authors:Esterhuyse S; Avenant MF; Watson M; Redelinghuys N; Kijko A; Glazewski J; Plit LA; Kemp M; Smit A; Sokolic F; Vos AT; Reynolds D; von Maltitz M; van Tol J; Bragg C; van Soelen B; Ouzman S
Project No:K5/2149
Originator:WRC
Document Size:5 052 KB
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