Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has been a great boon to the energy industry in the US. It has allowed this country to become a major producer of natural gas, driving down prices and raising the realistic picture of energy independence for our nation.
But many communities are discovering that cheap energy production can have unintended consequences, and a major consequence of fracking is increased pressure on limited water supplies is some of the country’s driest states.
For example, in some communities in Texas, wells that were used by residents for decades are running dry as energy companies drain local aquifers to get the water required by the fracking process. Farmers and ranchers no longer have the water they need to grow crops and water livestock, and even lawns and trees are dying because of water use restrictions on residents. In some counties in Texas, fracking accounts for up to 25% of water use.
In addition to using large amounts of water, fracking has also been linked to some incidents of ground water pollution. Industry insiders say this is due to bad practice rather than being an inherent risk of the fracking process, but it still remains controversial.
Many in the energy industry are trying to address these issues by coming up with ways to use brackish water rather than fresh water, or to reuse water for the fracking process.
This is a complicated issue and we at WaterPro do not intend to take sides. We only wish to point out that our supply of clean water is limited, and we support any technology or policy that puts a high priority on protecting the water supply.