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The QueQue

The QueQue: Children’s climate crusade, Intelligent design on the march, Principals are the real school bullies?, A lot of frackin’ water

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Texas Water Development Board estimates for the oilfield ‘fracking’ of South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale.


Changes in South Texas prodded a serious modification in the report’s water-use projections. As early as last month, the Current reported that the board’s estimated water use would peak in 2031 with 32,000 acre-feet of water needed per year. However, final projections for the Eagle Ford shale region across much of South Texas have now spiked as high as 45,000 acre-feet (14.6 billion gallons) at peak production — which is now expected to hit seven years earlier, in 2024.

Industry insiders and regulators are finally starting to realize the possibility for trouble as fracking continues to siphon off more and more water each year. At a conference last week reported by the San Angelo Standard-Times, Stephan Ingram, technology manager for Halliburton, admitted, “We use a lot of water. We need to figure out a way to utilize less of it.” Leslie Savage, chief geologist for the Texas Railroad Commission said, “Frankly, in my opinion, it is not the well casing, it is not the hydraulic fracturing chemicals that are a problem in hydraulic fracturing. It is the use of water, particularly in drought.”

And once production peaks, don’t expect an immediate decline in water use. New fields could possibly ramp up at that point, according to the Water Development Board’s report, meaning that “water use, instead of decreasing after the peak of ~120 thousand AF would stay at that level or possibly higher for a longer period of time.” •

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