Hydraulic Fracturing: Meeting the Nation's Energy Needs While Protecting Groundwater Resources

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The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is the largest association of groundwater professionals in the world. Our members include leading public and private sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers of groundwater-related products and services. NGWA provides guidance to members, government representatives, and the public regarding sound scientific, economic, and beneficial development, protection, and management of the world’s groundwater resources. NGWA recognizes that hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells is a mature technology and has been a widespread practice for many decades. No widespread water quality or quantity issues have been definitively documented that are attributable to the hydraulic fracturing process itself. However, there have been several cases related to oil and gas activities such as faulty casing installations (including poor cement bonds), unsealed abandoned wells, or poor management of materials/chemicals at the surface that are suspected to have or have negatively impacted groundwater, surface water, or water wells. NGWA believes that additional studies, field-based research, and ground-water monitoring to characterize the potential for groundwater contamination from the installation, hydraulic fracturing, production from and maintenance of oil and gas wells are needed, given the growing use of horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, NGWA supports U.S. EPA’s hydraulic fracturing study, and thinks if adequately funded, implemented, and peer reviewed, this study will result in valuable data upon which to build. Read more about this issue in this position paper.

Document Type: 

  • Position Statement


  • critical issues, database publication, hydraulic fracturing, water availability, water quality