Monday, January 16, 2012

In Texas, Feb. 1 requirement for fracking disclosures includes water use, not just chemicals

Texas frack job (Michael Stravato, New York Times)
Opponents and skeptics of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas eagerly await Feb. 1, when drillers in Texas will have to report many of the chemicals they use, "but a less-publicized part of the new regulation is what some experts are most interested in: the mandatory disclosure of the amount of water needed to 'frack' each well," reports Kate Galbraith of The Texas Tribune. " Experts call this an invaluable tool as they evaluate how fracking affects water supplies in the drought-prone state."

Justin Furnace, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, told Galbraith that most fracking jobs use 1 million to 5 million gallons of water. In rural areas where water is short, that can amount to a significant share of the local supply. The Texas Water Development Board project that in 2020, more than 40 percent of water demand in La Salle County will be used in “mining,” which "in this case means almost entirely fracking," Galbraith reports. "Until recently, no water went toward mining there." (Read more)

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