Shale gas development in the United States has revolutionized energy production and supply, making the nation energy independent for the first time in decades. However, many people remain concerned that the large-scale hydraulic fracturing necessary to recover hydrocarbons from shale may degrade the environment, including groundwater. Improving the understanding of how groundwater may be impacted by shale gas development requires field monitoring at multiple sites on different shale plays under a variety of climates and hydrologic conditions. Such monitoring has been difficult to achieve because of a lack of access to commercial sites and an absence of funding to drill dedicated research wells.

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