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The Disposal of Water from Hydraulic Fracturing: A South African Perspective

  • Loretta FerisEmail author
  • W. R. (Bill) Harding
Chapter
Part of the Water Security in a New World book series (WSEC)

Abstract

Shale gas extraction poses significant risks to scarce groundwater resources in the semi-desert Central Karoo region of South Africa. Review of hastily-compiled Environmental Management Plans, prepared in support of exploration bids, has been scathing. A subsequent Strategic Environmental Assessment did little to assuage concerns about environmental harm or that a regime of regulatory governance, equal to the task, existed at all. In the face of the clear, evident and largely unpredictable challenges, the legal and regulatory tools and experience available for the development of shale gas extraction in South Africa are neophytic at best. There are no existing norms and standards that would transition comfortably into this environmentally-challenging arena. What is needed is a considerable body of further scientific investigation, possibly in parallel with closely controlled, open and transparent pilot-scale drilling and fracturing.

Keywords

South Africa Karoo Groundwater Shale gas extraction Governance 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of the Vice Chancellor and Faculty of LawUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.DH Environmental Consulting (Pty) LtdSomerset WestSouth Africa

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