Utah’s current drought conditions have raised public awareness toward water scarcity and water conservation by water users. It highlights the importance of protecting all potential water supplies both on the surface and underground.
Division staff takes these principles very seriously in our work to regulate and require responsible development of the state’s underground energy and mineral resources. It takes water to develop energy resources and it takes energy resources to develop water.
The Energy-Water Nexus is well-recognized by both the private sector and policymakers in government. Division staff belongs to the national association of state oil/gas and water regulators known as the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) that has established itself as a knowledge-based organization dedicated to protecting the nation’s groundwater resources, especially as it relates to the extraction of underground petroleum resources. The association is non-profit and is organized into work groups and committees that produce valuable information regarding hydraulic fracture stimulation in the oil and gas industry, produced water reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, source water protection, carbon capture utilization and storage, and groundwater data collection and management.
GWPC is holding its annual forum at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City on September 27 – 29. Subject matter experts and representatives from state regulatory agencies nationwide will convene to provide presentations and discuss pertinent information to the overall concept of the Energy-Water Nexus. The event is not only timely for Utah and other western states as drought conditions worsen, but it is also the first in-person meeting of the GWPC after two years of virtual meetings and conferences.
For more information about the 2021 GWPC Annual Forum in Salt Lake City, visit www.gwpc.org.