Water Resources Researcher Junfeng Zhu Speaks at Groundwater Forum in China
KGS continues to participate in international conferences and scientific exchanges to share its research findings with a wide audience outside the United States. Junfeng Zhu of the KGS Water Resources Section spoke at an international gathering in China early this month. He was among a couple of hundred people who attended the 2017 International Forum on Groundwater and Cross-Strait Symposium on Application of Hydrogeology, July 6–7. The conference, supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and China Geological Survey, was held at Hefei University of Technology, with a theme of Sustainable Utilization of Groundwater Resources.
Zhu talked about assessing risks posed by unconventional shale oil and gas development on groundwater resources. He told the gathering about last year’s Water Resources Section project that sampled 51 water wells in several counties in northeastern Kentucky to gather baseline information on groundwater chemistry. Conducted in collaboration with GSI Environmental Inc. of Austin, Texas, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America program, the project was conducted in an area where horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to recover oil and gas from the Berea Sandstone and the Rogersville Shale reservoirs may occur. Zhu discussed elevated methane levels found in the sampling area and the likely sources of the methane.
About 70 oral presentations were given during the two-day meeting, which was attended by researchers, faculty members, and students from universities in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and North America. Topics covered a broad range of groundwater issues in China and other parts of the world, such as water resources management, groundwater contamination, seawater intrusion, and other groundwater-related environmental problems.