Energy, Water, and Irrigation | WIP

We often forget how important water is and than it is also needed to generate electricity. An excerpt from Colorado’s water information program newsletter:

“The link between energy and water use tis often referred to as the energy-water nexus. Consider some of the following energy and water related statistics:
·         It takes at least one gallon of water to create one kWh of electricity.
·         It takes from one gallon of water per gallon of oil to get it out of the earth to 350 gallons of water per gallon of oil when it is harder to find.
·         Burning coal and oil = 1-2 gallons/kWh. Hydroelectric = 18 gallons/kWh.
·         Burn a 60W bulb 12hrs/day = 3,000-6,300 gallons of water/year
·         Central air conditioner @ 12 hrs/day = up to 16,800 gallons of water/year.
·         In California, 20% of energy in the state is used to move water and 49% of water is used to create energy.
By now, most of us know that agricultural irrigation accounts for 75-90% of water diverted or pumped, both globally and in the U.S. The majority (62%) of U.S. irrigation uses older, center pivot technology. operating characteristics of traditional center pivots versus mid- and low-elevation spray applications are….”

State water v mineral rights in the courts| StateImpact Pennsylvania

A story to take heed about surface v mineral rights and drilling for water or oil and gas. The outcome depends on the statutes of law in each state as water and mineral rights are not uniform throughout USA. What worked in Pennsylvania did not work in Nebraska as each case is unique in specifics even as each state’s laws are applied uniformly. Here is an excerpt from Post Gazette:

“The Post-Gazette tells the story of a Pittsburgh-based oil and gas company, the Baron Group, that was temporarily blocked by a surface owner in Westmoreland County using this tactic. Before natural gas drilling could begin, the landowner set up a trailer and had a water well drilled on the site, according to the Post-Gazette:

With less than 200 feet between the water well and the proposed gas well, the landowner thought the gas company would be prohibited from drilling.

“What struck me in that case is that the surface owner readily admitted that they drilled the well for the sole purpose of defeating the oil and gas well and their argument was it did not matter what their motives were, the statute said what the statute said,” said Steve Silverman, an attorney with Babst Calland who represented the Baron Group before the state Environmental Hearing Board.

Perhaps more striking was that the landowner in that case was Tenaska, a Nebraska-based energy company that drills for oil and gas and had plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in South Huntingdon.

The Environmental Hearing Board judge didn’t address the issue of motive. Instead, because the Baron Group drilled its oil and gas well before Tenaska had a chance to connect its water well to the trailer, the Baron Group got the legal advantage. Tenaska was ordered to plug its water well.

The Post-Gazette reports it was the first time such a case appeared before a judge in Pennsylvania, but more of these cases could be heading to court in the Marcellus Shale region.

About six months ago, Steve Townsend, a Pittsburgh-based landowners’ attorney, began to notice a new clause in leases proposed to his clients. It was a promise that the landowner wouldn’t build anything within 200 feet of what’s already on the property.

“Anytime that something is bad for the industry, they just remedy it by putting it into the lease,” Mr. Townsend said.”

US Shutdown: Federal Lands to Reopen if States Foot the Bill | OutdoorHub

Once again Congress manages to screw rural America as many communities’ economic base now supports the tourism of National parks. Something is wrong with Congressional action when it cost more to keep the parks closed than to keep them open and running – example: Statue of Liberty which is reopening thanks to help from NY. Here is an excerpt from article:

“The governors of several other states—including Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska—are also speaking with Jewel about the possibility of reopening federal lands. However, some lawmakers say that fully funding these areas may not be a viable solution.

“The requirement to ‘fully fund National Park Service personnel’ is an arbitrary and costly burden forced on these governors to, once again, maximize the political pain of the National Park Service’s own decisions,” said Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Utah officials say that the benefits are more than worth the price. The state’s popular Zion National Park may cost $50,000 a day to run, but a week-and-a-half of closure has already cost the local economy $3.5 million.”

Radioactive Water From Fracking Found in Pennsylvania Creek According to Duke Study – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service

This an excerpt from ENS on shale extraction and the environment in the Allegheny watershed;

“The study, Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania, was conducted over a period of two years from the summer of 2010 to the fall of 2012 and analyzed water samples discharged downstream of the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility into Blacklick Creek in the Allegheny River watershed, according to StateImpact, a project of National Public Radio. Sediment found in the creek contained levels of radium that were 200 times greater than normal levels, along with high levels of salts like chloride and bromide in the surface water.
These elements are naturally occurring and released during the fracking process. Radioactive brine, known as “flowback,” is typically shipped to centers like the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility or injected into wells.
“The recent Duke University study that found increased levels of radiation in a Pennsylvania creek linked to liquid waste from oil and gas drilling should serve as a wakeup call to Governor Kasich,” said Food & Water Watch Ohio organizer Alison Auciello. “It should also make him think twice about accepting waste from oil and gas drilling operations in other states.”
Last year, more than 14 million barrels of toxic waste from oil and gas drilling were injected into the ground in Ohio’s Class II disposal wells, with more than half of the wastewater coming from out-of-state. These injection wells, essential to the fracking industry, pose a series of threats to groundwater supplies and human health, and have been linked to increased seismic activity.”

Norway’s new Government drops Lofoten oil | Barentsobserver

Liberal party and Christian Democratic party join new government and agree on stopping oil drilling in the most sensitive parts of Norway. As you may expect, environmental groups are pleased with this agreement. The Barents Observer go on to say:

“The new government [of Norway] will not go on with any planning or drilling in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, and will not open for drilling in the areas around Jan Mayen or close to the ice-edge in the High Arctic. 

The Arctic waters already opened for oil and gas planning and development in the southwestern and southeastern part of the Barents Sea will remain open for petroleum activity. Several discoveries of both oil and gas have been announced in these areas over the last two years. 

General Director of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, Gro Brækken, says the decision to stop any new impact assessment studies for oil and gas development in the northeastern Norwegian Sea is a democratic problem.

She sent out a press-release pointing to the fact that three out of four deputies in the new parliament is elected on a program that says yes to study the impact of oil activity in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

“It is a democratic problem that a clear majority in the parliament that supports such an impact assessment study again is overrun by a small minority. The representatives from the Christian Democratic and the Liberals, both parties without a single parliament member from Northern Norway, has got too big influence on this issue which has great importance for business development in this region,” says General Director Gro Brækken.”