Full Title: The Abundance of Oils in the Water­ Stressed Rockies
Author(s): Deborah Godron, Eugene Tan, Katherine Garner
Publisher(s): Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Publication Date: 01/2015

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Description (excerpt):

More oil resources are deposited in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming than the entire world’s proven oil reserves combined. And nowhere are oil ­water nexus issues more complex than in the Rockies. Many different types of oil are abundant in these states, including unconventional oils that require complicated, energy­ intensive processes to produce. Additionally, unconventional oil production is more water intensive and involves more potential sources of contamination compared to conventional oil production.

The tensions between water and oil resource challenges and opportunities are considerable in the Rockies. And the management of this oil ­water interaction is particularly important because energy and water demands are intensifying as the region’s population grows rapidly. While the development of unconventional oil resources in this area is anticipated for economic and geopolitical reasons, problems could arise due to the region’s persistent water concerns and fragmented governance.