Water and Shale Energy Development: Risks and Future Implications for Society

Ceres; General Electric; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

This event was webcasted live - please visit SIWI Media Hub for more viewing and sharing options.


Shale energy development is a water-intensive business, with local water demands that need to be met to successfully extract the resources. Research by the World Resources Institute finds that close to 50 percent of shale gas and oil worldwide is located in arid areas, or subject to high water stress. Local water use for hydraulic fracturing can be very large, and water sources are often poorly disclosed. It is critical to understand the risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing, as well as implications for water users.


This seminar will showcase new research from WRI on water availability-related environmental and financial risks. It will also explain the societal implications associated with shale energy development through hydraulic fracturing worldwide.


For the first time, it will showcase information on current and future water risks associated with international shale development using estimates based on socio-economic and climate change scenarios from IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. During the seminar, companies, governments and investors will share their perspectives on the implications of such findings and highlight areas most in need for coordinated energy and water policies, governance and investments.

09:00    Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Mr. Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue


Water Availability Constraints to Global Shale Energy Development


09:10    Launch of WRI Report “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability Constraints and Business Risks”

  • Mr. Paul Reig, WRI

09:35    Water Availability Constraints to Shale Development in the United Kingdom

  • Dr. Jim Marshall, Water UK

09:45    Water Availability Constraints to Shale Development in South Africa

  • Ms. Christine Colvin, WWF-South Africa

09:55    Panel Discussion

  •  Mr. Paul Reig, WRI
  •  Dr. Jim Marshall, Water UK
  •  Ms. Christine Colvin, WWF-South Africa

10:25    Coffee Break


Water Availability Constraints and Implications of for Governments, Society, Investors, and Companies Involved in Shale Gas Development Worldwide


10:55    Brief Remarks and Summary of First Theme

  • Mr. Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue

11:05    Solutions to Mitigate Water Sourcing Risks to Shale Development

  • Mr. Jon Freedman, GE Power & Water

11:15    The Role of Responsible Investors in the Development of Shale Energy

  • Ms. Monika Freyman, Ceres

11:25    Diplomacy and capacity building: how governments can help each other 

  • Dr. Kelly A. Kryc, U.S. Department of State 

11:35    Water Governance and Policy Requirements Moving Forward

  • Mr. Andreas Lindström, SIWI 

11:45    Corporate Water Stewardship in the Oil & Gas Sector

  • Dr. Cal Cooper, Apache Corporation 

11:55    Panel Discussion

  • Mr. Jon Freedman, GE Power & Water
  • Ms. Monika Freyman, Ceres
  • Dr. Kelly A. Kryc, U.S. Department of State
  • Mr. Andreas Lindström, SIWI 
  • Dr. Cal Cooper, Apache Corporation 

12:30    Close of Seminar

  • Mr. Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue

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