When Texas isn't suing for the right to dump crap in the water, we're using the water we have to drill for natural gas, a process that may contribute to contaminating the water, in an endless water-crap cycle.
The U.S. Geological Survey has a much more polite way of explaining the issue. "The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country," government researchers write in their new report. The report, the USGS says, provides the first national map of water usage in fracking.
Overall, the amount of water used by drillers for fracking wells has increased hugely across the country; the numbers went from about 177,000 gallons per oil well in 2000 to more than 4 million in 2014. Water usage in 2014 was 28 times greater than 15 years ago. Three of the major problem areas are in Texas, in the Eagle Ford shale, the Haynesville-Bossier and our local Barnett shale. "Many communities in Texas are finding their wells are going dry," an attorney from the Center Biological Diversity told Public News Service . "It makes no sense that, in the midst of this water crisis, oil and gas companies are swooping in and taking as much water as they can get their hands on."
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The USGS downplays research showing a possible link between fracking and water contamination, and takes a more conservative tone in explaining the problem with water usage in fracking. "Large volumes of water extracted from ground or surface water sources for hydraulic fracturing affect public water resources and aquatic ecology," their report says.