This set of six LawAtlas maps outline the current state of statutes and regulations governing oil and gas drilling and development activities as they relate to water quality and water quantity. The maps cover the use of water and five stages of development: permitting, design & construction; well drilling; well completion; production and operation; and reclamation.
Improved technology developments in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as "fracking," have resulted in an oil and gas production boom nationwide. In October 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that the United States would surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas by the end of the year. The boom has resulted in oil and gas development in regions unaccustomed to the industry as well as in regions that have a century-long relationship with oil and gas extraction. Nonetheless, the rapid development of oil and gas wells has sparked concern for public health related to oil and gas development.
The data for these maps are curated by the Intermountain Oil and Gas Best Management Practices Project at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School.