Fracking Impacts - Groundwater Depletion

From Wyoming to Queensland the water-intensive fracking industry (both CBM and Shale) has drilled tens of thousands of wells, draining aquifers of trillion gallons of groundwater, much of it precious fresh water on which many communities rely and will not be replaced in a human lifetime, with the levels in some water wells falling by over 1000 feet, while many go dry entirely Continue reading

A Fracking Disaster in the Making: Report (The Tyee, October 2015) In British Columbia alone the water-intensive shale gas industry now has permits to daily withdraw up to 274,956 cubic metres or 60,481,864 imperial gallons from 540 creeks, rivers and lakes as well as aquifers in northeastern B.C., when little is known about quantity or quality of surface water or groundwater in the region

Water wells recover amid coal-bed methane bust (Associated Press, January 2014) In the Powder River Basin, Wyoming many ranchers saw their stock wells and even their home drinking water wells go dry during the coal-bed methane boom that began 15 years ago, with falling water levels in about three-quarters on monitoring wells despite a massive decline in drilling since 2009

Water War: Stakes high in Montana-Wyoming legal battle (Casper Star-Tribune, October 2013) States of Montana suing Wyoming over the impact on water supplies of coal-bed methane production in Wyoming, where at its height CBM dewatering was removing 68 million barrels of water a month, with some water wells seeing levels drop by up to 1,400 feet

As Fracking Increases, So Do Fears About Water Supply (New York Times, March 2013) In areas where there is not enough surface water to meet the demand from fracking groundwater resources are being put under pressure, with nearly a quarter of the water used in Dimmit County, Texas going for fracking, and the amount of water withdrawn from the local Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer for fracking equal to a third of sustainable withdrawl limit

Cumulative CSG impact to trigger aquifer drawdowns (Beef Central, May 2012) Freshwater aquifer levels throughout large areas of the Surat Basin, Quensland, which landholders and rural communities rely upon, are predicted to drop by 60m to 150m as a result of the cumulative impacts of Coal Seam Gas extraction

Supreme Court Ruling Tests Boundaries of Water Supply and Energy Production Along Montana-Wyoming Border (Circle Of Blue, August 2011) Production of methane from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin’s coal seams, requires extraction of up to 20,000 gallons of groundwater out of each well per day, in a region that has seen nearly 23,000 wells drilled, reducing groundwater supplies and surface river flows

Water Demand is Flash Point in Dakota Oil Boom (Circle Of Blue, September 2010) Bakken Shale extraction is projected to use up to 5.5 billion gallons of water annually for as many as two decades and since 2007 North Dakota has permitted 32 large ground water wells and three for surface water withdrawals, together capable of extracting nearly 1.3 billion gallons annually

Colorado Court: Coal Bed Methane Producers Need Water Permits (Environment News Service, April 2009) For years in Colorado, coal bed methane producers have been allowed to extract large amounts of groundwater, connected to nearby streams, in order to released gas from the formations, impacting other water users or the nearby streams

Exploring Personal Loss & Coal Bed Methane (New West, April 2005) The Powder River Country of Wyoming has 20,000 coal bed methane wells currently operating, removing enough water to cover 250,000 football fields one foot deep, draining a centuries old aquifer of water, which no one has any idea when or if it will ever recover

Dispatch – Powder Keg (Audubon Magazine, December 2002) The gas industry sunk more than 10,000 coal-bed methane wells in Wyoming’s prairies in the past three years, extracting 55 million gallons of groundwater every day to release the gas, producing wastewater laced with sodium, calcium, and magnesium – too saline to be used for irrigation, too tainted to be dumped in waterways

Waterworld (Range Magazine, Autumn 2000) Thanks to the coal bed methane gas boom, Wyoming’s Powder River Basin ranchers are struggling to keep their heads – and their herds – above water, with the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office estimating that combined coal bed methane operations will eventually extract eight trillion gallons of groundwater

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