Alternative Uses, Treatment and Disposal of Wastewater from Potential Development of Western Australia's Unconventional Gas Resources.
This is a collaborative research project with University of Western Australia.
Interest in unconventional gas is experiencing rapid growth on a global scale. The emergence of such an industry in WA brings a host of new environmental and economic challenges, such as the management of industrial waste streams, specifically produced water. This study investigates the various options for alternative uses, treatment and disposal of produced waters from potential development of Western Australia's prospective unconventional gas (UCG) resources. Treatment options are analysed in consideration of produced water quality and quantity, for a range of end-use criteria, within the context of relevant regulations and guidelines. Influential factors are considered in a spatial analysis in conjunction with an extensive literature review. Existing land and water use is also considered in assessing the regional viability for alternative use, treatment and disposal options, as well as the potential for synergistic opportunities with local industries. The analysis constructs an outlook for WA and it is established that growth in WA's UCG industry is likely to reveal unique opportunities in the future.