June 21, 2012--As lawmakers pursue fracking bills, report looks at water effects (Los Angeles Times)

A new report on hydraulic fracturing has taken stock of the controversial procedure's effect on water supplies in Colorado, echoing concerns of California lawmakers as they seek to regulate "fracking" here. Western Resource Advocates, an environmental group, analyzed government and industry data to produce what it calls the first study of its kind to quantify how much water is used in the process, which involves injecting chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to tap oil and natural gas deposits. According to the report, oil and gas companies in Colorado use as much as 39,500 acre-feet of water annually in fracking operations -- enough to meet the yearly residential needs of up to 296,100 people, a population the size of Cincinnati or Orlando, Fla. The volume is troublesome for arid Western states, especially because the waste water cannot be treated and returned to drinking water supplies, the report said.

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