Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.


Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Increased Fracking Water Use in Ohio: Compromising Watershed Integrity?


Monday, July 13, 2015   

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The water footprint of hydraulic fracturing is increasing in Ohio and around the nation, according to new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey.

A USGS report found an average horizontal gas well consumed more than 5 million gallons of water in 2014, up from around 177,000 gallons in 2000.

Melanie Houston, director of water policy and environmental health with the advocacy group Ohio Environmental Council, says the fracking of Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Ohio put the state at the higher end of the spectrum of water use.

"It's needed to be used at a higher percentage in the fracking fluids that are created, so unfortunately that means that we're going to be tapping lots of different water resources from reservoirs and lakes to municipal water supplies to small streams and tributaries to feed this industry," she explains.

Houston says there are concerns about potential contamination, as the water used in fracking is combined with chemicals and is disposed into deep underground injection wells. But some well operators are working to capture and clean post-fracking water for reuse.

Ted Auch, Great Lakes program coordinator at FracTracker Alliance, says he's not surprised by the findings because his research found that fracking has used up to 7 percent of available water from the Muskingum Watershed.

He says he's troubled because the number is likely to exceed 10 percent in the next two years.

"In good years when it's raining cats and dogs like it is right now, there is excess water,” he states. “But that excess water buffers that watershed against drought in subsequent years.

“If you keep pulling water out and putting it down in the geology underneath, you are really compromising the integrity of that watershed."

The length of drilling wells is expected to increase, which Auch contends along with inadequate pricing of water will also deplete the resource.

"There's no incentive to use less water,” he points out. “As a matter of fact, there's an incentive to ramp up water demand when your number resource is priced so cheaply relative to its real cost."

Some in the industry say fracking uses significantly less water than many other processes, and the increased recycling and reuse of water will further reduce the use of water resources.

get more stories like this via email

Groups that track disinformation say purveyors sometimes back up their claims by referencing fake "think tanks," or by linking to other pages on their own website. (Feng Yu)

Social Issues

A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …

Social Issues

Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …


Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…

Researchers say if states required more lighting and reflection on farm vehicles, traffic crashes involving this heavy equipment could decrease by more than half. (Adobe Stock)


As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …

Social Issues

Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …

Nearly 640,000 people were considered food insecure in Washington state in 2020, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. (timonko/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …

Social Issues

By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…

Social Issues

As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021