Dr. Seth Haines is a Research Geophysicist with the USGS Central Energy Resources Science Center in Denver. His areas of work include characterizing gas hydrate resources using seismic and other geophysical methods and quantifying the potential effects of oil and gas development on water resources and wildlife habitat. This work includes analysis of data related to hydraulic fracturing and water production as well as linking of those observed water trends with USGS assessments of oil and gas resources. Prior to relocating to Colorado, Seth grew up in rural Maine. He received a BA in Geology and Physics at Middlebury College in Vermont, and an MS and PhD in Geophysics from Stanford University.
Title: Uniting and Dividing: How Water Can Bring Western Communities Together or Drive Them Apart – Strong opinions often dominate discussions of the role of water in oil and gas development rather than hard data. By studying trends in oil-and-gas-related water use (mainly for hydraulic fracturing) and water production, we can gain insight into the considerable variability in both categories of water volumes across both space and time. We can also consider how these volumes relate to the broader hydrologic system in a given area. I suggest that these sorts of analyses can support decision making that allow mitigation of conflicts and result in informed resource planning.