AGWT Executive Director Andrew Stone was an invited presenter at the January Bakersfield conference organized by American Business Conferences Ltd. The two-day program focused on minimizing water use and maximizing efficiency in the development and production of light & heavy oil from California shale. Many of the presentations were on flow-back and produce-water treatment technologies and water management strategies already in use, in pilot studies or research development that serve to minimize energy industry need for water and ensure that oil & gas development and production remain environmentally compliant. Additional presentations in Bakersfield were made by energy and water resources regulatory authorities from California state agencies.
Groundwater protection is a core element of the American Ground Water Trust’s mission. As an “honest broker of information,” the AGWT presentation outlined the deeply held views and “public perception” about the environmental impact of oil & gas operations. The real communication challenge is for both sides in the argument to develop an information exchange process that will provide the public and political decision-makers with objective information about the issues, impacts, and potential impacts of oil & gas operations related to water resources.