In 2014, oil and gas companies used 70 million gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing operations, reported Reuters.
Despite the large amount of water used, fracking officials insist that the amount of water used is merely a drop in the bucket. “Hydraulic fracturing uses a relatively small amount of water – the equivalent of 514 households annually,” said Steven Bohlen, the state fuel supervisor. He added that on average, only 100,000 gallons of water is used.
Bohlen also said that most of the water that is “produced” comes to the surface during drilling and isn’t good for drinking or farming.
According to Reuters:
The industry brought 387,000 acre-feet of produced water to the surface last year, Bohlen said. Of that, two-thirds was put back into the aquifers from which it came or was used to produce more oil through drilling techniques including steam flooding and cyclic steam injection.
The remaining third was put into underground injection, evaporated in surface ponds, or cleaned up for beneficial use, he said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has issued a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use across the state.
Fracking companies are expected to turn in a report listing its water sources by April 31. At that point, we will be able to see where this water is actually coming from.