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Is fracking really depleting states' water resources?

June 19, 2014
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With several states going through severe drought, many people might have expected that fracking operations would be restricted in order to save water. But it seems that things are not that simple. Recently, California's Senate rejected a bill that would have banned fracking in the state.

Christiana Peppard, a professor of science and theology at New York's Fordham University, told NBC News the debate on water use for drilling is likely to escalate. In states where water reserves are scarce, the tension between agriculture and oil and gas industry is growing, she said.

The industry, however, believes that fears that fracking uses all the water that would otherwise be used for crops and communities are unfounded. Steve Everley, director of the Independent Petroleum Association of America's research program Energy in Depth, claims that the amount of water used for fracking is actually much smaller than the amount that goes for other uses, for example agriculture which uses around 80 percent of all surface and ground water in the country.

But these claims have been challenged by scientific data. Drought-stricken states like Texas and Colorado are among the states where fracking is most widespread. A study released by business sustainability group Ceres last year found that 92 percent of wells in Colorado and 51 percent of those in Texas were located in extremely water-stressed areas, NBC News said.

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