Texas Drought Sets Residents Against Fracking
Fracking Vs. The Drought: They Call It Texas Tea, But You Can’t Drink Oil
How dry is it in Texas? So dry some residents are wishing for a hurricane to replenish the aquifer. So dry that many Texans are now against using water to frack for oil, which is famously called Texas Tea.
Every fracking job requires several million gallons of water. “Only about 20 percent to 25 percent on average of the water is recovered, while the rest disappears underground, never to be seen again.” Fracking is probably not the wisest use of water anywhere, but in a drought it’s downright self-destructive.
In one South Texas county, fracking was nearly one quarter of total water use in 2011, a fraction that is expected to hit one third soon. The Texas Water Development Board estimates frackers used 13.5 billion gallons water used in 2010, a number they project to more than double by 2020! Back in June, CP’s Tom Kenworthy reported on a Ceres study of 25,000 shale oil and shale gas wells that found nearly half these wells were in places “with high or extremely high water stress” because of large withdrawals for use by industry, agriculture, and municipalities. In Texas more than half were in high or extremely high water-stress areas.
Of course the warming-worsened drought in Texas has left much of the state parched. The town of Barnhart actually ran out of water. And the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality projects some 30 communities could run out of water by year’s end.
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I predicted this would happen when this fracking frenzy first started. Dirty energy is the biggest user of water next to agriculture so this was bound to happen. Climate change is also amplifying the hydrologic cycle as more heat in the atmosphere causes more soil moisture evaporation. In the film above someone mentions that the atmosphere is changing. The people of Texas need to understand that global warming is indeed a large part of this prolonged drought. Looks as though this particular event is also testing the moral code of people. Water has a way of doing that. Selling water to companies while people in your county go without?
This story clearly illustrates the lengths these companies will go to in order to not only satisfy their thirst for water but for greed. They would rather see people die of thirst all to frack a toxic well to make a few dollars. However, this is also showing a side to them that the people of Texas needed to see in order to understand that the climate is changing and water is part of that equation. It also clearly illustrates that voting for people who do not consider climate change an important crisis and who are in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry brings you to this crossroads.
What then will the future hold as we now see fracking infiltrating 38 states of our country? Not only scarce water but toxic water and that effects our farms, our food safety and our health. The sun shines very bright in Texas. That is what needs to be the source of their power. The age of oil must end in order to save our water.