Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

How Much Water Does It Take to Frack a Well?

Here’s a graphical view of one of the most controversial aspects of hydraulic fracturing: the enormous amount of water it uses.

 

See Related Story:

Using Abandoned Mine Drainage to Frack
Mine Reclamation Group Seeks Allies in Natural Gas Industry
Pennsylvania DEP Offers Acid Mine Drainage to Drillers

Comments

  • TheProspector

    Can you show how much water it takes to keep a golf course green?

    • http://twitter.com/sggunase Surya Gunasekara

      The average American course uses 312,000 gallons per day or 113 million gallons per year. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91363837

      • Walker4

        Well, yeah, but the water used for a golf course isn’t poisoning anything.

        • CJ

          But the herbicides and chenmical fertilizers they add to the water for the golf courses end up in the water table.

          • Walker4

            Fair enough– ban them too.

            You know, we can live without gas, and we can live without golf, but we can’t live without water.

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.colvin2 David Colvin

            CJ, they don’t put that into the water…….added later perhaps

      • UniverseWeAre

        And water used for Golf goes back into the hydrologic cycle while water used for fracking gets injected deep in the crust of Earth where it will remain outside the hydrologic cycle for centuries.

        Scary as fuck…

      • Julie K. McCarty

        There are 18,514 golf courses in the US. Now, I’m assuming that 113 million gallons per year is an average for a golf course. Multiply that by 18,514 courses… That’s 2 trillion gallons of water per year for all the golf courses in the US.

    • gail zawacki

      We should get rid of gof courses either way. They are toxic to wildlife and a waste of land.

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.colvin2 David Colvin

        But Privitly owned…..good luck w/that

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.colvin2 David Colvin

      How many acres, is it in a cool area or the Desert….But at least that water dose something…not really good, but better than fracking!

  • paulroden

    Where is all this water going to come from? Where is all the water going to be stored? Once this water is mixed with the fracking chemicals it can not be filtered or distilled to clean it up. The “flow back” water has heavy metal salts that municipal water treatment facilities can’t filter out. Most municipal water treatment do not have activated charcoal or resin bead filters which are supposedly able to filter out the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) from the fracking water mix. Injecting these “produced waters” into deep well site cause earthquakes. Drillers are not going to pay for treating these waste waters to be filtered. In PA the DEP can just sign a paper and declare the wastes as having “beneficial use”. Drillers can then sell this “well brine” to companies to sell to DOT and other companies to spray on roads for ice and snow control. This just spreads the wastes, supposedly to “dilute the impact”. This is wrong. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Read the November 2009 issue of Scientific American. Jacobson and Delucchi have developed a plan to power the world without fossil fuel or nuclear power, with existing technology by 2030.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Rosenbaum/100000486492990 Liz Rosenbaum

    Often gas wells must be fracked more than once. “Recycling” frack water actually refers to using it for another frack. Once this water is removed from the watershed, it can never be safely returned. Fresh water is a finite resource, yes? Why aren’t we building more solar and wind farms instead?

    • jon

      Wind farms kill birds. plus you have to have batteries to store the power in…So how much damage do we do to the environment making the lead batteries?

      • http://www.facebook.com/david.colvin2 David Colvin

        You Don’t Get the Tech……A/C Power from “wind-Turbines goes on to the Power Grid…..> That is how the City of Palm Springs CA, and surronding areas gets it’s Power…..

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

        Wind farms don’t kill birds at the same rate now. The slower huge blades you see all around the USA now are different than the fast moving blades in the California model of the late 70′s and early 80′s. A thousand birds might be killed at one wind farm over the course of an entire year, now it’s down to less than a dozen. Also, there are no batteries to “store” the power, geesh…there’s a 1.4 megawatt generator that runs right off the blade. Quit listening to conservative tv and radio.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004668064291 Fred JOhnson

          He’s talking about solar, there most certainly ARE batteries associated with a lot of solar panel systems… you store the energy before you use it… when the batteries are full you put the energy you keep producing back onto the grid.

          You are correct about wind not being so bad on birds any more though. Quit thinking you know it all when you can’t even understand what the other person says…

        • Steve LeRoy Moore

          Amost all birds killed by wind farms are birds of prey, the reason for that is birds of prey when hunting lock in on their prey and dive to the kill, if they take their eyes off the prey they will loose site of prey and of course miss it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.colvin2 David Colvin

      Because of Charles & David Koch & Exxon paid lobiests push back from reality

  • Sarvepalli

    The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.

  • Laguera411

    This man is single handedly responsible for more destruction, pain and suffering FOR PROFIT, than anyone else I can think of. He needs to be stopped!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004668064291 Fred JOhnson

      This man being You? Because I’m pretty sure you use power and gasoline. That means that YOU are part of the problem. We all are, and until people realize this and take responsibility, we will continue on this self-destructive path.

  • R

    Doesn’t Mr. Chaney knows he has done enough damage to Americans already, and to people all over the world! What’s the matter with him, doesn’t he has enough money already?

    • http://www.facebook.com/OhthatChar Char Bushor

      Really. He could not give a flying f*%k about any of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boriquahafrikanah Boriquah Afrikanah

    What about fracking water wells or fracking wells for water?

  • Mike Leiberg

    Pass it keystone XL

  • Michael Parido

    What exactly is meant by “UNCONVENTIONAL shale gas well”? Why is the word “unconventional” used there? Can someone explain that to me please?

    • Susan Phillips

      Michael, unconventional refers to deeper shale gas wells that require slick water hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling. In Pennsylvania, unconventional shale gas development began in 2005. Prior to that, conventional wells were drilled to tap natural gas in shallow deposits.
      Susan

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004668064291 Fred JOhnson
  • Cara Moulton

    Perhaps I’m missing this, but is that 4.4 million gallons the sum water use for a well in its lifetime? Or is it for “two to five days” as the article seems to say? How long do the wells themselves last and what is the maximum water they use? I’m trying to use this info to tell a class, and maybe this is obvious to others but wish it was stated a little more clearly (if anyone knows, wanna fill me in?)- thanks!

    • madisongf

      This is for one fracking but can frack the well again and maybe reuse some of the contaminated water but since we don’t really know what deadly chemicals they are pumping in the ground. Fracking is bad for the environment…we are we all going to say enough is enough…the GREED needs to stop!

  • Blain

    Southeastern Ohio they raped the land by surface coal removal, which completely ruined the top soil, which can only grow ragweed, it’ll take centuries to recover, now they’re going to rape our lakes and streams of it fresh water,in the same area. The impact will be dire. We must stand up now! Fracking is messy, ugly and unsustainable to the environment.

  • groberts116

    Your ignorant. Give it a rest, you’ve bought into the whole right wing BS: Inequality is good; big government is bad (for big business and the uber wealthy, but that;s not obvious to you); liberals are all socialists; and big corporations are job providers. The list is longer, but enough said.The important thing to realize is that the conservative and liberal tags are tools used to play Americans. No one really is totally conservative or liberal. I support both conservative issues and liberal issues and for the most part so do most Americans.

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