Groundwater resources monitoring during unconventional oil and gas extraction: South African laboratory analytical capabilities
Keywords:laboratory, analytical capabilities, groundwater monitoring, unconventional oil and gas, South Africa
Groundwater resource quality monitoring before, during, and after unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction would assist in protecting groundwater resources. Limited laboratory analytical capacity may, however, hamper effective monitoring. We assessed South African (SA) laboratory analytical capabilities for specific groundwater monitoring parameters relevant to UOG extraction. We found a limited capacity to analyse for most of the UOG extraction–related groundwater monitoring parameters and that most of the surveyed laboratories are not planning to increase their analyses capacity to cater for UOG extraction. This issue must be addressed urgently if SA wants to proceed with UOG extraction. Policy recommendations include that South Africa should develop a specialised UOG extraction monitoring laboratory to cater for analytical needs. Such capacity could also address the analytical requirements for the rest of the African region during UOG extraction.
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