Texas, Water and Fracking

Posted on August 15, 2013

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WestTexasDrought

Last Sunday The Guardian newspaper published an article illustrating one of the negatives of fracking, “Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty”. The title of the article was “A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water”. It is good that they are beginning to realise that fracking has its problems.

As an introduction to the article online, they show a video with the following explanatory text, “In Mertzon and Barnhart in western Texas, the worst drought in two generations is choking the water supply. Water shortages are raising tensions between locals and the fracking industry. Drilling for shale gas uses up to 8m gallons of water each time a well is fracked” (8 million gallons is the same as 30 million litres, or 30 thousand cubic metres). I suggest that you begin by watching the video.

WestTexasDrought
Link to video: Texan drought sets residents against fracking

Here are some quotes from the article:

“Three years of drought, decades of overuse and now the oil industry’s outsize demands on water for fracking are running down reservoirs and underground aquifers. And climate change is making things worse.”

“Nearly 15 million people are living under some form of water rationing, barred from freely sprinkling their lawns or refilling their swimming pools. In Barnhart’s case, the well appears to have run dry because the water was being extracted for shale gas fracking.”

“A few years ago, it seemed like a place on the way out. Now McGuire said she can see nine oil wells from her back porch, and there are dozens of RVs parked outside town, full of oil workers. But soon after the first frack trucks pulled up two years ago, the well on McGuire’s property ran dry.”

Read the entire article in The Guardian.

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