In Case You Missed It: Duke University Study: Water demand from fracking less than 1 percent of U.S. total

In Case You Missed It: Duke University Study: Water demand from fracking less than 1 percent of U.S. total

| by CEI Staff

Reuters reported on a study out of Duke University that finds water used in the fracking process is only a fraction of what other industries use, and well under one percent of total fresh water consumption in the United States.

“Fracking by the U.S. oil and gas industry has increased the burden on the nation’s water resources, but still accounts for less than 1 percent of America’s total industrial water use, according to a paper by researchers at Duke University published on Tuesday.

“The controversial extraction method consumed roughly 48 billion gallons of water per year from 2012 to 2014, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, roughly the same amount that flows over Niagara Falls in 18 hours.”

The Duke study said that fracking used about 248 billion gallons of water between 2005 and 2014 and yielded about 210 billion gallons of wastewater in roughly the same period. Wastewater can be treated and recycled, or disposed of in deep underground caverns.

The study said, however, that the water use accounted for just 0.87 percent of industrial consumption. It said that other energy extraction methods – including conventional oil production, uranium mining and coal mining – used more water and produced more waste per unit of energy.”

According to analysis of the Duke study by Energy in Depth:

“…this report debunks the common misconception touted by activists against fracking—namely that extremely large quantities of water are used and then lost forever. Oil and gas producers use a very small fraction of the overall water consumed in each play.”

Energy in Depth also points out that Monterey Shale in California “used the least amount of water of all U.S. shale plays, although it produced significantly more water likely due to the increased permeability of the shale when compared with other formations.”

Read the complete Reuters article here and analysis from Energy in Depth here.

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