So a Duke University study finds. Total produced water is now “more on a per day basis than Niagara Falls has going over it in an hour,” says Joel Mack, an attorney at Latham & Watkins, a firm which represents oil and gas companies.
And over the next 12 years, the study concludes that the volume of water used could grow up to 50x higher when fracking for shale gas and 20 times higher when fracking for oil.
DeSmogBlog: “Their findings are particularly troubling news for arid areas like the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, where underground water supplies are already taxed by residential and agricultural demand, and where fights over water use are brewing. On average, a Permian Basin well used 10.3 million gallons of water in 2016, according to a San Antonio Express-News investigation earlier this year — more than double the average per-well demand just a few years ago. …in parts of Texas and New Mexico, wells can produce up to 10 gallons of wastewater for every gallon of crude oil. …And that wastewater can be a toxic blend that’s very difficult to treat, in part because it may contain high levels of corrosive salts, naturally occurring radioactive materials, and fracking chemicals whose identities are considered trade secrets and which even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can’t list.”
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