Cumulative Environmental Effects from Unconventional Oil and Gas Activity in the Liard River Watershed: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Freshwater Extraction, and Risk of Cross-Contamination

The Liard River Watershed covers 275 000 square kilometres in Northeastern British Columbia. This vast area is increasingly being developed for its underlying shale gas resources using hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). However, there are few studies investigating the environmental impacts of such activity in this vast area. Fossil fuels and freshwater are two of Canada’s most important natural resources, and therefore an understanding of the water-energy nexus is paramount. This study will investigate effects of oil and gas activity on water resources in the Liard River Watershed it terms of both quantity and quality. These results will be incorporated into a larger report on the cumulative impacts of human activity within the Liard River Watershed that the partner organization is compiling for one of its clients. A GIS interface will be developed in order to facilitate research goals and to provide a platform for future consultation projects.

Faculty Supervisor:

Romain Chesnaux


Joshua Wisen


David Suzuki Foundation




Environmental industry




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