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Todd Jarvis

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Hi, my name is Todd Jarvis. I'm the associate director for the Institute for Water and Watersheds here at Oregon State University. My interest in trying to mesh some of the polices in the oil and gas industries to groundwater focus on a concept that's called unitization. I got interested in this topic beacause my father is an expert in the oil and gas law and we had many discussions over this and he always asked the question "why wouldn't unitization work?". The way unitization work is, and how it be applied to groundwater is, instead of having lots of people drilling wells to capture the resource, whether it be oil and gas or water, many states have created these oil and gas conservation commissions and the idea is to have more of an orderly approach to developing the resource as opposed to a race to the pumps. And the idea is instead of having all of these different pumps going on at the same time is just to try to designate an operator of the field or the resource who would then share the profits with the other owners or other users in the area. And the same thing might for groundwater. The reason that I thought it might apply to groundwater, especially the deeper groundwater, deeper groundwater being over 1000ft in depth, is that we're starting to see that that water is very old. In some places in Oregon it's a 1,000 to 20,000 years old and it's telling us that it's not directly connected to the recharge area. So it's more or less a finite resource very much like oil and gas. I'm hoping that my research will be adapted, at least in part, for global, national, regional levels simply because we're starting to become more and more reliant on groundwater for our drinking water supplies. The globe, the nation, Oregon, Oregonians use groundwater for about 50% of their drinking water supplies. We're starting to recognize that we're mining this resource. What we need to do is come up with strategies that recognize that we have to come up with some ground rules with respect to groundwater and right now we really don't have many well applied ground rules, many of them are based on the status quo. It's hard to make a change with time. We're also looking at places where there's no law at all. We're looking at people just simply if they drill a well they can pump out all that they want. And so I'm hoping that my work will help people do more orderly development of groundwater. And I found that when I first was introduced to groundwater hydrology as an undergraduate student, as a research assistant, it's really a fascinating field and it brought me a lot of joy in my career. And it gave me kind of a spiritual connection to the planet.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 31 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 60
Posted by: umarket on Dec 10, 2009

Describes ground water management plans.

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