Lack of water is one of the world’s most pressing issues. Today, 1.2 billion people – almost a fifth of the global population – live in areas of physical water scarcity. A further 500 million people are approaching this situation. Droughts have been declared in Sao Paolo state, India, Puerto Rico and Ethiopia, where the UN has warned that 4.5 million people could be in need of food aid.
Water is by far the largest component of fracking fluids. According to driller Chesapeake Energy,
an initial drilling operation itself may consume from 6,000 to 600,000
US gallons of fracking fluids, but over its lifetime an average well may
require up to an additional 5 million gallons of water for full
operation and possible restimulation frac jobs.
A 2009 report on modern shale gas by the Groundwater Protection Council, "Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer,"
stated that “[t]he amount of water needed to drill and fracture a
horizontal shale gas well generally ranges from about 2 million to 4
million gallons, depending on the basin and formation characteristics.” A
2010 Harvard study
found that, on average, water consumption for natural gas produced
through fracking ranges from 0.6 to 1.8 gallons of water per MMBtu
(Mielke, Anadon and Narayanamurti 2010).
When will we all wake up? Ed.