Acquisition of Water For Energy and Mineral Development in the Eastern United States
I. WATER USE FOR ENERGY AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES
The law governing the withdrawal and use of water in the eastern United States has evolved substantially from riparian-rights principles established under the common law of the individual states, transitioning (for the most part) to statute-based state and regional “regulated riparian” regimes. As judges and legislators benefitted from an increased understanding of hydrologic science, they adjusted legal principles in response to the pressures of rapid industrial development and population growth which characterized the 19th and 20th Centuries. That evolution continues as the 21st Century presents new challenges, whether related to increased water use for energy and mineral development or potential water scarcity induced by climatic conditions.3 In this changing landscape, perhaps the greatest challenge is to efficiently develop and utilize water for fuel extraction and energy production which, in turn, fuels society and the nation.
Large amounts of water are vital for many aspects of mineral extraction4 and energy production, from the hydraulic fracturing technique used to extract shale oil and gas to the [2A-2] cooling processes utilized at thermal power plants. It is difficult to obtain an accurate up-to-day estimate how much water is used for mineral extraction and energy produc
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This article appears in:
Water-Energy Nexus: Acquisition, Use, and Disposal of Water for Energy and Mineral Development