Utah Wilderness News, November 30, 2010

Development threatens water supply in the Southwest

Kuhn admits he was surprised by the model that delivered the 5 percent estimate, which he believes could change with additional study. “The number is only as good as the model, but whether it’s 4 percent or 6 percent, that’s a lot of water.”

Driving frequently for the last 30 years between Glenwood Springs and Flagstaff, Ariz., where his parents live, Kuhn believes that livestock grazing no longer disturbs the soil significantly. Instead, he blames recreation, development and roads for breaking the microbial layers on desert soils, allowing dust to be picked up by winds.  Read more – New West

Oil shale development could have "significant" impacts on water quality and quantity

"The Government Accountability Office says in a report released Monday that oil shale development could have 'significant' impacts on water quality and quantity, but more research is needed to determine the effects. The GAO says up to 12 barrels of water, or about 500 gallons, may be needed to produce a barrel of oil. It urges the Interior Department to coordinate more research."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Uncertainties remain about oil shale impacts

"A new government report says oil shale development of deposits in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming remains a big question mark, hindered by the vast amount of uncertainties regarding its impact to the amount of water — and the quality of water — in the arid region.

Released Monday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the report said it is estimated there are as many as 3 trillion barrels of oil in the Green River Formation, and developing ways to extract it have spanned a century.

Despite this, however, land managers have only just begun to explore probable impacts to groundwater and surface water, an effort described by the GAO as "nascent" and falling well short of what is needed to monitor impacts."  Read more – Deseret News