USGS Study Points to Fracking’s Thirst

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with the American Geophysical Union, indicates that hydraulic fracking operations in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the last 15 years, consuming more than 28 times the water they did a mere decade and a half  ago.

 The study indicates that not only has the number of fracking operations increased but individual wells are consuming more water. The median amount of water consumed by a single fracked well grew from 177,000 per oil and gas well in 2000 to more than 4 million gallons per oil well and 5.1 gallons per gas well in 2004. That’s far more than the 671,000 gallons a year used by a conventional or vertical well. In the 52 out of 57 watersheds with the highest average water use, more than 90 percent of the wells were involved in horizontal drilling in shale gas areas.