Fracking Infusion

In Carrizo Springs, Texas, ranchers are raising questions about the sustainability of hydraulic fracking in the region. Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas and oil from deep underground. The technique is used to extract oil and natural gas with greater efficiency. This efficiency comes with a cost – massive water usage, dangerous chemical compounds being pumped into the ground, and large risks to our water tables. According to the article, “As Fracking Increases, So Do Fears About Water Supply,” the fracking industry is extremely dangerous for the environment.

Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water down a well to extract oil and natural gas from porous rock.  A single well utilizes between 4 million to 6 million gallons of water.  This water comes from the aquifers of the region. In Carrizo Springs, the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer supplies the nearby fracking efforts of Dammit County. A study of the Aquifer shows fracking “reduces the amount of water by the equivalent of one-third the aquifer’s recharge.” Drainage of this magnitude is unsustainable and causes other stockholders that use the aquifer to be pushed aside. Take Hugh Fitzsimons for example. Hugh states that one well from his ranch fell by two-thirds due to fracking.

If the water used in fracking is never recovered. Unfortunately, the water used is contaminated with minerals and other unknown highly toxic chemicals. Contaminated water must be hauled off site to be drained into a disposal well. Disposal wells are highly unregulated and could possibly contaminate nearby wells and aquifers.

All in all the fracking is terrible for the environment. Regulations and laws must be passed in a rapid fashion to prevent irreversible damage.  As a nation we need to learn from our mistakes. We have had devastating oil spills within our nation due to weak regulation and unethical corporate decision-making. Take the Exxon Valdez disaster or the Gulf oil spill for instance. Fracking could have similar effects as far as overall damage in the form of aquifer depletion and well contamination. For Texas being a region that lacks water as a whole, a decision must be made to determine the best allocation for the available water supply. Hopefully the aggregate economy is favored rather that the corporate checkbook.

Check out this person’s kitchen sink water starting on fire from fracking:

Thank you for joining the conservation conversation.

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