Current Projects

Search for Projects
View Projects
Project Title
by Subject/Focus Area
by Board/Committee
by Major Unit
Provisional Committee Appointments Open for Formal Public Comments
by Last Update
Meeting Information
Conflict of Interest Policy
Committee Appointment Process
  Project Information

Project Information

 Printer Friendly Version

Project Title:

Management and Effects of Coalbed Methane Development and Produced Water in the Western United States (COMPLETE)
PIN: BESR-U-08-08-A        

Major Unit:

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit: Board on Earth Sciences & Resources
Water Science and Technology Board

RSO: Eide, Elizabeth

Subject/Focus Area:

Project Scope
Coalbed methane (CBM) has accounted for an increasing proportion of total annual U.S. natural gas production over the past decade. This study will examine the effects of CBM development and produced water on water and soil resources in the western United States (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, North Dakota, and Wyoming) including the effects of CBM produced water and its treatment, use, storage, and/or disposal. Specifically, the study will:

1) Briefly review existing and ongoing studies by Federal agencies related to CBM produced water effects and management including studies on the topics of:

a) water treatment, use, storage, and disposal;
b) environmental (natural and human) effects;
c) water quality and quantity.

The ongoing studies will include but not be limited to the publicly available portions of the Environmental Protection Agency's Coalbed Methane Detailed Study.

2) Identify the major Federal and state data resources available for CBM produced water management including those available for topics 1a-c, above, and identify:

a) the major factors influencing CBM produced water chemistry and potential toxicity;
b) the baseline data necessary for effective management of CBM produced water;
c) data gaps, if any, and any additional need for data acquisition, access, or integration.

3) Identify the major positive and negative effects of CBM produced water treatment, use, storage, and disposal (e.g., treatment techniques, injection, impoundments, agricultural and industrial uses, storage tanks, surface discharge to ephemeral streams) on the quality and quantity of surface and ground water resources, including environmental effects documented by public and private stakeholders.

4) Review existing Federal and state regulations that address the management and potential effects of CBM produced water on surface and ground water resources.

5) Evaluate the effectiveness of current and emerging best-management practices and production techniques for CBM produced water management options in terms of the minimization of potential negative impacts to water resources.

6) Discuss the costs for produced water management options, including existing and emerging techniques used in water treatment, use, storage, and disposal.

When evaluating the effects of CBM development on water resources, relevant geological, geochemical, hydrological, ecological, environmental, social, and health factors, water rights issues, and historical and projected CBM production volumes will be considered.

The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
The approximate start date for the project is October 15, 2008.
A report will be issued at the end of the project in approximately 21 months.

Project Duration: 21 months    

Provide FEEDBACK on this project.

Contact the Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry, request a list of the public access file materials, or obtain a copy of the materials found in the file.

Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 01/06/2009
 Meeting 2 - 03/30/2009
 Meeting 3 - 05/13/2009
 Meeting 4 - 05/19/2009
 Meeting 5 - 05/20/2009
 Meeting 6 - 06/02/2009
 Meeting 7 - 07/20/2009
 Meeting 8 - 08/04/2009
 Meeting 9 - 08/18/2009


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Management and Effects of Coalbed Methane Produced Water in the United States