One of the recent economic booms in Texas has been the Barnett Shale gas field activity that has been most active within a triangle roughly from Weathorford Texas, to Denton, south through D/FW Airport, and then west back to Weathorford.
A visit to the area a night shows drilling rigs scattered throughout the area, lit up like Christmas trees. Most of these oil companies, and "landmen" who negotiate gas leases are strictly quiet on one subject related to natural gas drilling. WATER.
Grayson Harper, recently wrote about the indirect impact of all of this drilling activity on the water supply of North Texas. Many ranchers, farmers, landowners, and water sensitive citizens know the high costs of drilling, in terms of water.
But, most people do not know the facts. We are greatful to Grayson Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org) for reporting these statisitics. We would like to share them here:
- It takes 4,000,000 (four million) gallons of water to "frac" one well one time.
- The average well is "fracced" 17 times. 17 x 4,000,000= 68,000,000 gallons of water per well, over a period of the life of the well.
- With 90 gas wells in the Fort Worth area, and 70 more underway, that will total 160 wells. 160 wells x 68,000,000 gallons = 1,088,000,000 gallons (is that over a billion gallons?)
- There are 4,900 gas wells in the entire Barnett Shale gas field.
- You figure the math. How many billion gallons of water does that potentially represent?
- The drilling process tends to make the water unfit for consumption, because when it is put into injection wells, toxic chemicals including fumaric acid, ethylene glycol (antifreeze), methanol, toluene, and benzene mix with it. These chemicals cause cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys, brain, heart, and a long list of ailments.
- One family of 4 uses about 148,148 gallons of water a year. And much of that can be reclaimed. At that rate, the water used for one gas well, would provide the water needs for one family for 27 years.
- Many experts indicate that because of climactic change, that Fort Worth may exhaust it's water needs, under NORMAL conditions, in 15 sto 19 years. They have not factored in the impact on the billions of gallons that is being drained out of local reservours and pumped into gas wells.
Do the math. It will amaze you. Our lakes could literally be depleted leaving us with water shortages, but, with plenty of natural gas to run our air conditioners. Again, the Tarrant County Water Board has followed the beck and call of big business and has not taken this into account, and furthermore, the lack attention to it by the Cities of Fort Worth and others, who sell water, is going to cost the citizens of North Texas heavily.
Think about the implications.