Water Quality Issues in the Williston Basin, Montana and North Dakota

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The Williston basin has been producing oil and gas since the 1950s, but production has increased recently due to use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies to extract oil and gas from the Bakken and Three Forks Formations. As concern about effects of energy production on surface-water and groundwater quality increases, the characterization of current water-quality conditions is highly important to the scientific community, resource managers, industry, and general public.

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Rodney Caldwell has spent 25 years working on saline-water investigations of the Oregon Coast Range, earthquake hazards mapping, large-scale hydrogeologic studies in the Willamette and Deschutes Basins of Oregon and Smith River watershed of Montana, groundwater-quality assessments of intermontane basins of the Northern Rockies, studies examining the interaction of groundwater and surface water, and an investigation of radiochemical constituents in groundwater of southwestern Montana.