By definition, the process of hydraulic fracture drilling needs water in order to work, and lots of it. Fracking is the process in which water is forced down into shale beds in the earth at high speeds with a few other chemicals in order to release natural gas found in the rock. However, while you may think that fracture drilling utilizes a large percentage of water used in industrial sectors and for energy production, you’d be wrong.
In a study published by scientists from Duke University, titled Environmental Science & Technology Letters, they found that fracking makes up less than one percent of water use for all industrial use nationwide, showing that the fracking process is overall efficient. However, there is a caveat to that fact. While fracking utilizes a relatively small amount of water in the industrial sector, fracking does tend to occur in water stressed regions across the nation.
To give you a sense of comparison, a single fracking well can utilize a total of three million to 12 million gallons of water during the life of the well. For perspective, farmers in California use over 20 billion gallons of water per day in order to water their crops according to High Country News. But the real problem isn’t necessarily the water being used during the fracture process as much as the water that comes back out.
Any process that uses water in order to remove fossil fuels from the ground actually releases more water than what was pumped in. For as much natural gas as we get from the fracking process, the same amount of water is released from the well. However, when a similar process is used on coal and oil, you can get anywhere from three to 10 additional barrels of water released from the earth. This would sound great if this water didn’t have chemicals and other substances in it that do not make it fit for drinking.
Proper disposal is absolutely key to protecting the water supplies across the nation. If this released water is allowed to run-off into the ground, it can contaminate drinking supplies. Working with Well Water Solutions can help your company to best protect the drinking water in the United States. Our patented above ground storage tanks for wastewater keep the water exactly where you put it: in the storage tank. Additionally, water can naturally evaporate and safely return to the environment or we can speed up the process with our water management services.
Contact Well Water Solutions for further information about how our products can help your frac site and process.