Ground Water Canada

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Munk School of Global Affairs to examine water risks from fracking


May 28, 2014
By Ground Water Canada

Topics

May 28, 2014, Toronto – The Program on Water
Issues at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs will host a
conference on the water risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
for shale oil and gas on May 29.

The full-day event brings together leaders from
environmental, academic and First Nations communities and experts from the
scientific, investment, insurance and legal sectors to shed light on fracking
for shale oil and gas. In the spotlight: the latest information on the
potential for ground water contamination, the links between fracking and water
stress in Western Canada and how transparency and disclosure can minimize water
risks.

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In fracking operations, companies inject highly-pressurized
water, sand and chemicals into shale rock formations to extract unconventional
reserves of oil and gas. Fracking has significantly boosted accessible North
American energy reserves, propelling industrial output and economic growth and
rebalancing geopolitical boundaries in the Middle East and beyond. Thousands of
wells are drilled each year in British Columbia and Alberta. The future of
shale energy development in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is
unclear; the Province of Quebec imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2010. 

Most recently, the federal Minister of the Environment asked
the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to conduct an independent assessment of
potential environmental impacts from shale gas development in Canada. The CCA
report, released on April 30, concluded that fracking for shale gas has the
potential to contaminate ground water and in some regions contribute to water
stress.

These and other issues will be addressed at the conference, Water
and Hydraulic Fracturing in Canada: Information for Investors and Everyone
Else. Speakers include John Cherry, of the Council of Canadian Academies; Steven
Heim, of Boston Common Asset Management; Peter Chapman, of the Shareholder
Association for Research and Education; Lana Lowe, of Fort Nelson First Nation;
Sarah Teslik of Apache Corp.; Dave Hughes, a geoscientist; Russell Gold, of the
Wall Street Journal and author and journalist Andrew Nikiforuk.