Monitoring Environmental Parameters with Oil and Gas Developments in the Permian Basin, USA

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 5;17(11):4026. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114026.


This study evaluates the groundwater qualities and environmental changes to obtain information on the groundwater contamination in the Permian Basin, Texas. Coupled with the U.S. government's open data, these analyses can identify regions where environmental change could have affected groundwater quality. A total of thirty-six wells were selected within the six counties: Andrews, Martin, Ector, Midland, Crane, and Upton. Spatial distribution maps were created for six different parameters: pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and arsenic. Total groundwater quality maps incorporate all the contaminants and denote regions of poor, medium, and optimum conditions. To identify spatial changes in groundwater quality, maps were separated into two different time intervals, 1992-2005 and 2006-2019. We found that groundwater contamination resulted primarily from the mobilization of the contaminant from anthropogenic activities such as chemical fertilizers, oil and gas developments. Overall, groundwater quality decreased during the study period from 1992 to 2019 as population and urban growth began to develop in the Permian Basin. This study contributes on understanding of the response of groundwater quality associated with environmental change in the Permian Basin. Therefore, this research provides important information for groundwater managements in developing plans for the use of water resource in the future.

Keywords: Permian Basin; USA; environmental change; groundwater quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Groundwater*
  • Oil and Gas Fields*
  • Texas
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical*
  • Water Supply


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical