One of the concerns raised by anti-drillers, in an attempt to scare people, is that shale gas fracking will a) use up too much of our precious fresh water supplies, and b) wastewater from drilling will pollute fresh water supplies. The problem with those allegations is lack of evidence. If water supplies are in danger, then why have we not seen such shortages or contamination after 40,000 or so horizontal natural gas wells have been drilled since the early 2000s?
Every now and again a university will publish the facts on drilling, including it’s impacts on water. In May, Penn State University’s Extension program published such a paper, titled “Water’s Journey Through the Shale Gas Drilling and Production Processes in the Mid-Atlantic Region” (embedded below). It takes a look at how much and where water is used in the drilling process, and also deals with how wastewater is handled.