The goal of this project is to develop a general scientific, engineering, and technological support system for water resources planning and management related to oil and gas development on the North Slope of Alaska. Such a system will aid in developing solutions to economic, environmental, and cultural concerns.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Systems, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7880
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3136
PBS&J, Inc., Marietta, GA 30067
Alaska’s North Slope hosts a phenomenal wealth of natural, cultural, and economic resources. It represents a complex system, not only in terms of its biophysical system and global importance, but also from the standpoint of its social dynamic. Water is an essential component of the North Slope environment. Local communities use lakes and rivers for access to subsistence resources and to sustain those same resources and requisite habitat. Energy development in the region is also inextricably tied to water resources. Oil and gas exploration and development requires a great deal of fresh water for ice road and ice pad construction, drilling muds, domestic water supplies, and implementing emerging enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. A major challenge at the forefront of domestic energy development on the North Slope is the need for best management practices that will ensure benefits for all stakeholders. The creation of best management practices requires stakeholder cooperation that will enable cost-effective development strategies that fit within a broader context of long-term cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability. Successful management of this resource is essential to the broader issue of environmental protection and responsible energy development on the North Slope.
The challenges of developing best management practices for water resources include resource planning and management for efficient and sustainable water use, understanding and explicitly considering environmental impacts and protection, and developing and implementing effective participatory management strategies with representative stakeholder participation from all sectors.
Successful management of the water resources is essential to the broader issue of environmental protection and responsible energy development on the North Slope. This project, will address the challenge of establishing best management practices for North Slope water resources through the development of a prototype Decision Support System (DSS) designed to maximize solutions to the concerns of multiple stakeholders.
The project ended on March 31, 2013. A final project presentation was held on May 13, 2013. The final report is available below under "Additional Information".
Project Presentation [external site]
Final Project Report [PDF-664KB]