Effects of Oil and Gas Development on Water Resources in Colorado

February 28, 2018
11:30 AM to 5:00 PM
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Golden Community Center
1470 10th St
Golden, CO 80401

Presenter: Joseph Ryan, University of Colorado 

Over the past decade, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling accelerated oil and gas development in Colorado.  Much of the development occurred closer to populated areas than in the past and raised concerns about public health and disruption of residential communities.  Over the past five years, our National Science Foundation-funded research network, AirWaterGas, has assessed the risks and benefits of oil and gas development in the Colorado.  We examined air quality, water quality, public health, and social, political, and economic effects with the goal of better incorporation of science in oil and gas regulations.  This presentation will provide an overview of the research with a focus on water quality and the occurrence of methane and organic contaminants in aquifers above Denver-Julesburg Basin in northeastern Colorado.


About the Presenter: 

Joseph Ryan is a Professor and Bennett-Lindstedt Faculty Fellow in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder, Colorado. He has been teaching and conducting research at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1993. He is affiliated with the Environmental Engineering Program in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Environmental Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Joe holds a B.S. degree in geological engineering from Princeton University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research and outreach focuses on the fate and transport of contaminants in natural waters. Current research efforts include investigations of the role of organic matter and colloids in the speciation and transport of contaminants and the effects of oil and gas development on water quality. He and his co-authors have published seventy-some articles on these topics. Joe is the faculty director of the National Science Foundation-funded AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network, a multi-institution team of twenty-seven researchers addressing the effects of oil and gas development on air and water resources in the Rocky Mountain region. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Chemical Society, and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. 




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