USGS: Marcellus/Utica Among Biggest Water Users in US Shale Plays

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is out with a new study on how much water is used to drill and frack shale wells across the United States. The report is titled “Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications” and has been accepted for publication in the journal Water Resources Research. Sorry, we don’t have a full copy of the report, but we do have a summary of the report below which says that the heaviest water use is in shale plays like the Marcellus/Utica, which sits in an area with abundant water supplies (good for us). What the report fails to do is provide perspective–that the volume of water used in drilling and fracking shale wells is minuscule compared to the volumes used in electric power generation and agriculture. More water is used for golf courses than it is to drill shale wells! So while the study is no doubt interesting, it has (in our opinion) limited value…

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