GWPC, DOE to host first water-energy sustainability symposium

The Ground Water Protection Council and the US Department of Energy will host the first water-energy sustainability symposium to address challenges in meeting future water and energy needs Sept. 13-16 in Salt Lake City.

Sept. 13-16: The Ground Water Protection Council and the US Department of Energy will host the first water-energy sustainability symposium to address challenges in meeting future water and energy needs. It will be held in conjunction with the GWPC’s 2009 annual forum in Salt Lake City.

Aimed at both state and national policymakers, the symposium will bring together more than 60 top water and energy experts to discuss water use and its energy development impacts; water needs for unconventional oil, gas, solar, hydropower, and nuclear power production; integrated water-energy planning, and other hot topics, GWPC said. For a full agenda and registration information, go online to www.gwpc.org.

Why it matters: Policymakers outside the western United States, where water can be scarce, have begun to recognize in the past year that water and energy issues often converge. Large, predictable quantities of water are required to produce various kinds of energy. Hydraulic fracturing, which has been used to recover natural gas from the Barnett and Haynesville shales, is being considered for the Marcellus Shale underlying parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The technology’s use is currently regulated by states, but US Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) introduced a bill in June to federally regulate it under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Treating and distributing water also relies on easily accessible, affordable energy. The interdependence of energy and water, and the need for policy collaboration, has become clear as experts in both fields search for ways to meet demand for both resources. Co-sponsors for the symposium include the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, the National Ground Water Association, the Association of State Drinking Water Officials, and the National Rural Water Association.

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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